89 In Life/ tshirts

Thank You & Books

alltied up

My goodness, I know I can’t say “thank you” enough for all your support of the new little tee shop. I vastly underestimated what would take place and to say “I’m so grateful” is an understatement… but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! If you ordered a tee it’s already on it’s way! Justin and I have been burning the midnight oil, pulling, wrapping, packing, taping… and meanwhile learning the ins and outs of  Click ‘n Ship, thankfully avoiding going postal in the process.  My $30 Walmart printer pulled us through and reminded me of The Little Engine that could. After the kids were snug in their beds we transformed the kitchen into our workshop and worked like elves, wishing we had a few little elves! By the time we packed the last box we figured out the most efficient way to knock it out and hopefully are better prepared for the future… live & learn. I am in the process of reordering and adding a few more designs.  I’ve yet to find a long sleeved tee that I love, but the search will continue. I have a handful of tees left that I didn’t list initially that are listed now in the shop {which has a new tab at the top of the blog} so keep checking and I’ll keep you posted on the status of the next batch. {I’m estimating they should be in the shop in 10-14 days.} Thank you again… I’m so excited that you liked them!


Next topic, books…

First, I was honored to be included in Oh Dee Doh‘s Favorite Children’s Book Interview last week…


I loved all of Carrie’s questions and thought I’d pass the LINK along to those of you who are interested in children’s books! Our all time favorite authors include: Scarry, Wilder, and Wells and we had the opportunity to talk about our favorite illustrators as well. Answering Carrie’s questions made me realize just how much we love children’s books! This summer we started reading Laura Ingalls Wilder to the girls… we plowed through Little House in the Big Woods and are about half-way through Little House on Prairie. Morgan {age 5} especially loves it and looks so forward to it every night. Wilder is such an amazing writer and I, too, have come to have such a respect and admiration for her style. Not only do I love her style, I think her books are full of valuable life lessons and applications for our children! If I’m honest, I probably look forward to the next chapter as much as the girls do.


I also just finished a little review for our church newsletter and thought this would be a great place to post it as well… it’s for a devotional book called Jesus Calling. My friend Katie gave it to Erika and me for our birthdays this summer and since then I have recommended it so many people… except y’all, so now I’m doing so! I’ve hesitated thus far to post about it because  the reality is I am consistently inconsistent when it comes to a lot of things, one of which is my quiet times. I didn’t want to depict a false image of a devotional book guru, but the reality is I feel passionate about this book and love the perspective from which it is written. Not to mention, I think a lot of you would really love it. {If you’re an iPhone user she even has an ap for your iPhone.}

Here’s what I wrote about it…

Written from the unique perspective of Jesus {written in first person}, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young is unlike any devotional I’ve ever read. It is teaching me the importance of the practice of listening to the Lord and what his Word has hidden in it for me. The book reads with an authentic feeling of meeting with the Father and hearing Scripture spoken to the heart. Filled with a devotion for every day of the year, Jesus Calling, is a powerful devotional that speaks truth into the life of a believer to combat the all distractions that keep us from communion with the Lord. Each daily entry is accompanied by scripture references from which Sarah Young has compiled her text. Jesus Calling is so packed with Biblical exhortation it was hard to chose one excerpt, but this is just one snippet of truth…

“Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents.”

Sarah Young is currently a missionary to Japanese people living in Australia and holds degrees from Wellesley, Tufts, Georgia State, and Covenant Seminary. In her introduction to the book, Sarah explains, “The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard. I have written them from Jesus’ point of view…so the perspective is of that of Jesus speaking to you.” I think Sarah Young has done an exceptional job of guiding and encouraging her readers into the presence of God. I am grateful for this devotional and I highly recommend it!


I’ve done a little reading myself this last month; The HelpHer Mother’s Hope, and I’m just starting The Kitchen House. I loved The Help {I’ve not heard of anyone who didn’t}  and Her Mother’s Hope. Although it wasn’t my favorite Rivers book, I still managed to finish Her Mother’s Hope in a few short days, had no problem turning the page, and I certainly will be reading the sequel, hoping some of what I’ve read will be redeemed. Something about the character of Marta and how she treated Hildemara didn’t settle well with me and honestly I found myself slightly frustrated {which is likely how Rivers wanted me to feel}. In my opinion, even the last chapter fell a little short of justifying her actions/behavior toward her own daughter. I won’t say more… in case you want to read it. It is well-written, a little on the darker/depressing side, but by no means boring. I’d love any recommendations you all have for good reads…


As you can see by the picture above we are still pretending like it’s summer around here… in fact, we’re in the home stretch of our countdown to our summer beach trip! We are headed back to McBeach this year for fun and sun and are thrilled the beaches of NW FL are still oil free! Thank the Lord!


Ok, I need to go kiss those lips. Be back soon…

Oh, before I go there were a couple questions on the post about the gingersnaps & ferns

  • The ginger snap recipe says it makes “250-300 small cookies”, I wouldn’t know for sure if that’s accurate because we made average size cookies and it yielded about 3 dozen average cookies… but true gingersnaps are probably the size of a quarter or half-dollar so it may very well yield that many.
  • The recipe also calls for “butter flavored shortening”, I know, not appealing, not healthy, but I imagine this is how they stay chewy on the inside… if anyone substitutes butter please let me know how they turn out!
  • I also forgot to mention that the ferns like to be misted with water, I just use a hose and lightly mist all the fronds when I’m watering them.
  • In the cold months {Dec, Jan, Feb} the ferns come inside to my foyer and I sit them on folded towels so I can still water with out risking ruining my floors/rug. It’s not the most ideal place but it has windows and they seem to like it there. I think a garage would be fine but ours weigh so much we just brought them right into the house. They do not bring in bugs {that I’ve noticed} but rather lizards, but we welcome the lizards over bugs because they eat bugs!

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  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    August 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I read “Her Mother’s Hope” back in April, and felt the same way. At some points, I found myself praying that I never treat my daughters the way that the girls in the book were treated. But…I think you’re right–that’s how Rivers wants us to feel. I just got a circular from our local Christian bookstore, and the sequel comes out in September. I’ll be buying it to find out what happens next. 🙂

    I love reading your blog—you are such a fun mom! I need to take notes from time to time. 😉

  • Lillian
    August 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I tried the ginger snaps with butter(YAY – they were just what I was wanting that day!) and they came out fantastically. I think I used the wrong amount – I used 1 stick of butter because I had a distracted “helper” – and they were perfect. I actually even had to add a bit more flour(about 1/3 of a cup?) to get the right consistency and they were amazingly chewy!

  • Anna
    August 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I’m a librarian so I of course have to chime in about books. Richard Scarry books were my favorite books as a kid. And I can’t wait to read C.S. Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder and L.M. Montgomery to the kids we hope to have someday. Have you read any of Charles Martin’s books? My favorite is When Crickets Cry, but they are all fantastic.

  • Ashley
    August 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Ooo can’t wait to read the book recommendations! Hmm…I’ll be thinking of my favorites to recommend your way!

  • Ashley
    August 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I meant to add… don’t the Little House books make the food sound SO delicious!?!???! 🙂 The way she describes every morsel is one of my favorite things about her writing 🙂 Can’t wait till my little one is old enough for me to read them to her!

  • simplyblythe
    August 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    congrats on the great success of your new little business. fantastic!
    i used butter in the gingersnaps and they turned out perfectly.
    in fact, my brother-in-law (married to my twin) said they looked just like store bought cookies…and they were delicious.
    thank you.

  • simplyblythe
    August 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    oh! my favorite kids’ books:
    the three questions, by jon j muth (picture book)
    the miraculous journey of edward tulane, by kate dicamillo (chapter book)
    absolute must reads!

  • Donna Albert
    August 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    ‘Jesus Calling’ is my favorite devotional book, given to me my one of my all-time favorite people: my sister-in-law Carol. Sarah Young has another wonderful book called ‘Dear Jesus’ and it has been instrumental in helping me with my prayer life during some family crises in recent months. Thanks for sharing it with your readers — I now keep several on hand for gifts and simply offering a friend in need some encouragement.

    Gingersnaps are on my agenda for this week, as my grandson loves to make cookies with me. I tried to order the cookbook from the Junior League website, but their Paypal button wasn’t working. I left a voicemail (thanks for the link to their site) and will check back in a day or two to see if it’s up and working.

    I pray your tee business exceeds your wildest expectations! May God richly bless your endeavors.

  • Janna
    August 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I made the gingersnaps with butter (don’t have shortening, never use it) and they were delicious! I took them to a women’s event at our church and they were eaten in minutes!

    The picture of you w/ your babies on the couch is gorgeous!

    Do you read the Ramona books to your girls? I think a movie just came out. Might be fun to read the books and then rent the movie 🙂

  • Zoe
    August 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I tried the gingersnaps with butter and they were flat and not quite right. Maybe if I used less butter, as another commenter said. Also I used blackstrap molasses which I think may be a little too ‘healthy’ for cookies. I am going to try again!
    Love your book recommendations – am going to find a copy of that devotional, it looks wonderful!

  • Courtney
    August 30, 2010 at 12:42 am


    I don’t even remember how exactly I heard about your blog… a sweet friend from my old church I think was a Chi O with you? Something. Basically, I feel like a stalker every time I check your blog. Anyway, I’ve been really encouraged by your honesty about raising babies and fighting sin… and love your home-making ideas… so thank you!!

    “Jesus Calling” has been SO incredibly helpful for my walk with the Lord… it’s made my quiet times less academic and much more relational. I am so thankful for this book!!

    PS – I cannot handle the cuteness of your Rover.

  • Abby
    August 30, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Oh!! I love a goos book recommendation… thanx heaps. Baby #3 has slowed my reading progress lately but I loved “To kill a Mockingbird”, “The memory Keepers daughter” and “The time travellers wife”.

    Happy reading 🙂

  • Megan
    August 30, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I think Morgan would love the “Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook”. It was one of our first chapter read alouds and my daughter loved it!

  • Jessi
    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Hey Darby Friend!
    Great Post! Always love reading about your family, I’m inspired to live better because of you:)Thanks!
    Ok, I wasn’t going to say anything about the gingersnaps but since you posted on them again, specifically about the butter vs. shortening question that your readers had, I thought I’d comment now. I love gingersnaps the way you do. Soft inside, perfect crispness outside. You are right that the shortening does allow for the cookies to be soft. Using all butter will FOR SURE make them yummy, but never ever soft. Just crunchy, and while crunchy’s good, we like the best of both, right? Your recipe of using butter flavored shortening is good. My preference is to use half shortening half butter. The same effect is achieved. And heck, I’d even use butter flavored shortening… can there really be TOO much butter flavor in a cookie? That’s the answer. Half and Half. Last thing, shortening scares a lot of young home cooks. But it’s just vegetable oil ladies, it is not lard, not even close. Shortening does wonderful things to cookies. It’s the secret to the perfectly soft cookie;)

    Love ya Darby!

    Jessi in Tallahassee

  • Cami {Cami's Paperie}
    August 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Oh! Oh! Your packaging is just adorable 🙂 You deserve loads and loads of success! Congrats on your new venture and I can’t wait to see ladies tees. Since I don’t have kids I can’t buy the adorable ones you have for sale now. But keep up the awesome work! Yay you!

  • Miranda
    August 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Hi, your T’s are too cute! The past few months I have been playing around with making custom T’s just using my printer, Avery iron-on transfers and my iron. I have had several friends interested in buy some of my creations, but the iron-ons are not the best quality, and I don’t think they would be satisfied with them. I would love to take this futher. I was wondering if you could share with me what products and equipment you use? Thanks!

  • Anna
    August 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    The Laura Ingalls Wilder books are my all time favorite!! I even wrote my college essay (many years ago) about her, in response to the the question “Who would you like to have dinner with?”. To this day, I find her inspirational!

  • Krissy
    August 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I have read through the Little House series with my oldest and have started it with my younger two. It really is a magical series and we all feel transported to the prairie every evening! It really makes me appreciate how “easy” we have it these days! I cannot wait to pick-up a copy of Jesus Calling – thanks for the review!

  • Katie
    August 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Oh, Lil’ Mister’s sweet face…yeah, he looks like he needs some loving! I am SO (so, so, so, so…and so on) excited about our tees!! I giddy about the possibility of long-sleeved tees for this fall/winter. I was happy you mentioned a devotional. I crave some quiet time with God, but I honestly don’t know where to put that into my day that makes sense. Working on that… And re: the lizards…isn’t it so pitiful (but a tad amusing) when they get inside, are cold, and move like slow dinosaurs?? Hehe….

  • Anne K
    August 30, 2010 at 9:04 am

    We love the Laura Ingalls Wilder books too…they made me wish I had lived in those days. (Now I am so gald I did not…haha,..it must’ve been so cold and dark in those woods!) I also remember one of my girls telling me about how they pretended to be the characters at recess (after reading one exciting chapter in Little House on the Prairie). I love the illustrations and the books, and we still have the set on our shelves. I think my favorites are “Little House on the Prairie” and “On the Banks of Plum Creek”. Also..loved “The Help” and I keep trying to think of the actresses they could get together to make it into a movie…we have had several fun discussions about that.

  • Cat from iBlog
    August 30, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Loved this post. Jammed packed with lots of good stuff. So glad the t-shirt business is going great. I knew it would! It’s so funny because we are learning about all the same things……packing, shipping… our dining room becomes our “shop” every night when kids are in bed (or napping!). We decided we needed to hire someone JUST to wrap frames in bubble wrap and pack them to be shipped. Oh, and put the cute little tags on them….you can’t forget those. 🙂 I love Sarah Young. I’m reading Nearer to Jesus right now. We are going to rosemary beach in Oct. We always go in Oct. I keep telling people “just go to the Gulf one time in the fall…you’ll never go in summer again!”

  • Mrs. B.
    August 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I love the tees! They are too cute. I may have to pop in and buy a few for my 3 little piggies come Christmas time. 🙂

    I tried Little House with my kids a few months ago and they weren’t quite ready for it. But I’m going to give it another go next Summer.
    I’m a children’s book fanatic. Love them.

    I’m excited about your devotional recommendation. You asked for suggestions: one of my very favorite novels is The Birth House by Ami McKay, anything by Anne Rivers Siddons and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Here are more of my book reviews:

    🙂 Lovin’ your blog. (post about your Europe trip! I’m dying to live vicariously!!!)

  • Megan
    August 30, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Hey Darby! So… I have been reading your blog for a little less than a year now. I am a student at Mississippi State and just came across it somehow. I have not yet commented on it but i just wanted to tell you how much i love it! I love how passionate you are for making things(clothes, food, just everything!), I love that your family did a garden together and you are teaching your kids the importance of playing outside and working with their hands, I love that you read Francine Rivers (i’m sure you have read the Mark of the Lion series but if not- its phenomenal!), I love that you just made a tshirt line (maybe you should include some adult sizes and designs too?) okay, just a little at a time. haha. Anyways i just wanted to comment and tell you that i really admire your family and you as a mother & wife.
    Isaiah 32:17

  • Stephanie
    August 30, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Congratulations on the successful opening of your shop! I can’t wait to see the new designs!

    I just read an excellent book that I think you (and your blog readers) will love. “The Personal History of Rachel Dupree” just came out this month and I couldn’t put it down. It is the story of a mother raising her family at the turn of the century in the Badlands of South Dakota. It is a very emotional and well written story that would touch any mother.

  • Joye
    August 30, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Love your blog. Just wanted to tell you that if you have a Belk, they hava brand called J. Khaki that has the cutest, solid long sleeved t-shirts (for girls i know, not sure about boys). They are usually 40% off and hold up great. A good brand with lots of solid options. Good Luck!

  • TaylorM
    August 30, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I recently read Crazy Love by Francis http://www.crazylovebook.com. It is an amazing book that helps you to apply biblical principals to your everyday life. It is an easy read and Chan is a great speaker if you haven’t heard him before! This book really influenced me and made me take a deep look at how I live my life and follow Jesus. Love you blog!

  • Joye
    August 30, 2010 at 10:36 am

    sent you an email with a link to the long sleeved tshirt I was talking about 🙂

  • Leslie
    August 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I have 2 boys and we are big Scarry fans. The trucks really seal the deal I think! My 4 yr old and I are starting to read Roald Dahl – James and the Giant Peach, The Chocolate Factory, etc. I can’t wait!

  • Diane
    August 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I loved The Help. My favorite book this summer was Cutting for Stone by Verghese. The author is a surgeon (still) and a writer and it was just an amazing book.

  • Gloria Chiras
    August 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Unfortunately I waited too long to order the owl shirt and the tow truck shirts…Hopefully they will be in stock again soon. Happy the business is going well.

  • Tara
    August 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Darby, I love the Jesus Calling devotional. The cover on my copy is about to fall off because it’s so worn. I have given it as a gift several times. As for book recommendations – I suggest anything by Shauna Niequist. I’m a big fan! Take care!

  • Lauren
    August 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Love the tees and will keep checking the website for size 2!! And, I cannot wait to see more designs! Keep it coming – they are precious! 😉

  • andrea
    August 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Darby, of all the things you wrote about today that I’d love to comment on, the Jesus Calling book is the one I have to mention. Someone gave it to me this summer, and I have been reading it non-stop. As you know, my husband up and left this year, in May. I was devastated. I still am to be honest. I don’t understand why this is happening in our lives, but I’m sure God has a purpose for it. I am growing and learning so much already.

    When I received Jesus Calling, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Each page spoke to me, and it felt like it was written especially for me. It had helped heal my hurts a bit.

    I’m still hurting a lot tho, so today if any reader does read my comment, I ask that you please include me in your prayers today. Today is a hard day.

    I’m so grateful for your fun blog. It gives me some hope. And some relief from my head. A good distraction in other words.

    I’m also glad you have are sharing that book with others. IF anyone is going thru a rough time, get that book. You’ll be so amazed.

    Thanks, andrea

  • Gramercy Home
    August 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations on a sucessful T-shirt launch – I’m sure you have a wild ride ahead of you and can’t wait to watch it evolve. I am a huge fan of “Jesus Calling,” as well. I received it as a gift about a year ago and it’s been a great re-boot for quiet time. Somehow it’s always what I need to hear (and do and reflect on). Wishing you much continued success and look forward to your future posts!

  • Cassie
    August 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Hello! My husband has a t-shirt line and gets some shirts, etc. from S&S.


    Good luck to you! Love your designs!

  • Sarah
    August 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Love all of your book recommendations. I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read “The Help” I must add it to my list. I really need to start reading more chapter books to the kids. (My three are actually all very close in age to yours.) I just finished Her Mother’s Hope and it left me with so many mixed emotions that I’m still trying to think about. The whole mother/daughter relationship is such a wonderful and difficult one for me. I also read “Sarah’s Key” this summer. It was sad but good. There’s a descriptive review for ya!
    Thanks for always bringing things back to grace. I’ve stalked your blog for so long because I know that beyond the sweet pics and GREAT recipes there is so much depth.

  • Kristin
    August 30, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I’m reading Jesus Calling right now, and I am really enjoying it. I am also not faithful about doing it every day, but I like that I can catch up easily if I miss a few days. I’d definitely recommend it.

  • Amy
    August 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Darby,
    I have been following your blog for several months now and have never written a comment. I just wanted to tell you that I really and truly see God working through you to touch the lives of so many people whom you know and don’t know. You have such a pure spirit. It is refreshing to see someone use the talents God has given her to glorify our Lord in such a selfless way. I am inspired by each of your blog entries, not to copy you, but to live my life fully as you do and to use my talents to live the life God intended for me to live. Thank you for your honesty, your pure spirit, your willingness to let God work through you to touch others. In this world in which we some how seem to constantly compare ourselves to one another, it is wonderful to realize that it’s OK. It’s OK to be who we are. It’s OK to cheer for the next guy and to realize we are still perfectly made, perfectly made in God’s own image. You help me to see those things, and for that, Darby, I will always be grateful. Grateful to you and grateful to God who allowed me to stumble upon your blog. I look forward to reading more blog entries from “Fly Through Our Window.” God bless you and your beautiful family

  • carla
    August 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Darby, I love your blog. I made your gingersnaps – followed your recipe and added a bit of honey. They turned out great. Also made your pickles – also yummy. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Michelle
    August 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    These shirts are so precious. I’m going to buy some during the holidays for my nephews. Are you going to be adding any holiday themed prints?

  • rose
    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I do love you blog. Very beautiful photos and looks like you have lots of fun with your family. Have you seen the Little House Cookbook. We used that book to make lots of quick fun food. Your library might have it or it is used for like 1 or 2 dollars on Amazon. Your gingersnaps look great. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy
    August 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Little Bee by Chris Cleave. A book that will inquire you to wonder about what you would truly do for another human in need. Not only will it make you question the world we live in, but the language Cleave uses is breath taking; both beautiful and haunting at the same time. Little Bee is one of those books that will stay with you.

  • kayce hughes
    August 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks. That devotional was just what I needed to hear today.

  • Melissa (melissab74)
    August 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I’m SO glad to hear you’re reordering! Can’t wait until they come in!

  • Kim
    August 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery…challenge your faith and are refreshing to the soul (adult and children alike!). My favorite of the series is Anne of the Island. Happy reading!

  • Amy Brewer
    August 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I read the Little House Series with my daughter when she was younger. Like yours she could not wait each night for the next chapter and most nights, would beg for more. Also, I love what another commenter said about her food descriptions. I loved her describing her Christmas candy they always received and they were so thankful for the piece of candy and one gift!
    The Help is awesome! Someone else mentioned The Potato Peel and Guernsey Literary Society, great book. Another is Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. The Glass Castle is an amazing book.
    Congrats on the Tee business. Have you looked into the-laughing-giraffe.com? They have tees for kids.

  • Amy Brewer
    August 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Another must read, Someone Knows my Name is an amazing read. I could not put this book down!

  • Kitty Hurdle
    August 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Definitely pick up the book “Radical”, it’s a swift kick in your Christian pants! xoxo

  • Heather
    August 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    My favorite read this summer was “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” Loved it so much I had my 16 yr old daughter and 13 yr old son read it! It is a very touchhing story and I want it to be made into a movie!

  • Justine
    August 31, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Love those t-shirts – do you ship to Australia..? :o) We love Richard Scarry books too.

  • Jill Cribb
    August 31, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Love the Tees! I read “The Help” too – couldn’t put it down – loved it! “Jesus Calling” sounds wonderful…can’t wait get that. Thanks for sharing with us about it.

  • Donna Hollowell
    August 31, 2010 at 9:46 am

    My 27 year old daughter and 13 year old son both loved the Little House on the Prairie books. My son was so fascinated with the time period and we even acted out parts of the book in our play time when he was younger. Even now, I think it cemented in his mind, the difference between now and then. Two books I’d recommend for reading to your young ones are The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson and the The Quiltmaker’s Gift. They both have a wonderful message and The Quiltmaker’s Gift has beautiful illustrations. Thanks for your book reviews and recommendations. Because of you, I have decided to keep a special place in my spiral bound calendar with book recommendations. Thanks so much for what you do so well!

  • Nelle
    August 31, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I’m so happy your tee’s are such a big hit. Congratulations!

  • Melissa
    August 31, 2010 at 11:41 am

    These shirts are too cute. If you ever decide to try your hand in designing a dinosaur I have a little boy who is obsessed. He would love to have a tshirt with one on it.

  • Christine
    August 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Just wanted to pop in say that I rec’d my shirt yesterday and I am so pleased! Its very soft and fits my little boy perfectly. I really hope you consider adding some onesies to the mix!

    I’ll be ordering again soon!

  • lisa
    August 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Congrats on the success of your shirts. Very exciting!

    I wanted to share a book with you that I have found very inspiring as I make my way through this path of motherhood. My girls are 3 and 1 and I definitely have my days where I find myself questioning everything I am doing. I don’t read it every day, but I do read it regularly, especially when I’m going through a tough time. Whether it be after a rather difficult day with the girls, an argument, or just a rough day personally, I find myself going to this book to refocus. I am not a Buddhist, however I find a lot of the messages to fit who I am and who I want to be as a person and mother. The book is “Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: Becoming a Mindful Parent” by Sarah Napthali.

    I posted some excerpts from it on my blog:


  • Catherine
    August 31, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Oh yay! Can’t wait to purchase “Jesus Calling!” Thanks for recommending it. I’m always looking for new ideas in the devotional department. I long for the day when quiet times are truly quiet again (Not so with 3 littles around!) but at the same time know that my short times with the Lord in this season of life are leaving an impact on my children. Can’t wait for CBS to start back up in a couple of weeks.

    I also read both “The Help” and “Her Mother’s Hope” this summer! Loved them both and agree with your assessment of Marta. Hoping for redemption in the sequel too. 🙂

  • Robyn
    August 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    When we read the “Little House” books we turn out the lights and use candles for true little-house atmosphere. It’s cozy and the kids love to be “just like Laura”. 🙂

  • Melanie
    August 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I loved Lottery, Still Alice, & Same Kind of Different as Me. That would be a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Shannon
    August 31, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Darby!

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now and I just love it! Thank you for writing and sharing with us who are your avid readers. You are such an encouragement to moms and moms-to-be who love Jesus like you do!

    I LOVE to read and I’ve got some recommendations for you. If you are a Francine Rivers fan then I assume you’ve already read Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion Trilogy which are my favorites of hers. If you enjoy historical fiction like the Mark of the Lion Trilogy then you will love the Lowlands of Scotland Series by Liz Curtis Higgs. It’s the “modern day” version of Jacob, Rachel and Leah. I COULD NOT put it down!

    I am a teacher and every year I start off with a fun read. Class favorites are Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu by Sheena Knowles. Sweet stories by Patricia Polacco are personal favorites of mine.

    Happy Reading!

  • amber
    August 31, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I just finished “Her Mother’s Hope”, and I could not agree with you more! While I loved the book, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated and angry through much of it. Still, I will definitely be reading the sequal!

  • McCall
    August 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Darby- I know this is random, but I just have to ask. What are YOUR favorite blogs…you know- who’s blog can you just not WAIT to read? You’ve never mentioned this (to my knowledge, anyhow), and I’d serioulsy love to know….. Thanks and GOd bless- McCall 🙂

  • McCall
    August 31, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Ugh…sorry about that— who’s should have obviously been whose. Ugh- life with a baby…so fun yet so challenging when trying to type. 😉

  • Cara
    September 1, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I just discovered your blog through Oh Dee Doh… Amazing! Just thought I’d leave a comment and tell you your blog is beautiful. Also, I LOVE Jesus Calling and read it every night. Blessings to you!

  • Allyson
    September 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I loved The Help, but didn’t like the ending! I am hoping she’s leaving it open to write another. Amazing that was her first book. I am reading Kirk Cameron’s book, Still Growing. Allen and I went to hear him speak in Marietta this past weekend. It was amazing!!!! He is doing a “tour” of sorts called A Love Worth Fighting For. Warren Barfield brought the music and his testimony. I’ll let you know about his book. He is an incredible speaker. Have fun at McBeach! We got to go the first part of August and Mary McKinnon was convinced that Miki did the cloud room just for her. We loved it so much that we are set on it being our spot from her on out!

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    September 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I’d love to see a bee or honey comb design!

  • Snekcip
    September 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely LOVE Laura Ingalls Wilder books! I can remember in grade school how I couldn’t wait to get to class for story time! Her books are a classic! I read them to my kids when they were younger and can’t wait for my grandkids to become old enough to enjoy them as well!

    Love your tees! They are awesome!!

  • Amy
    September 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Just received our tee shirts today and we LOVE them! I especially liked the personal touch you added with the wrapping of the shirts (which I won’t give away so that others can be just as surprised as I was when they receive their shirts)Congratulations on launching such a wonderrful tee shirt line! We will be ordering more in the near future!

  • Katy
    September 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Hello! I just found your blog from Pink Wallpaper and I’m loving it! I also *inconsistently* read Jesus Calling and am SO excited to download the iPhone app! I am looking forward to reading your blog from now on and I added it on my blog to my daily design reads!

  • Lisa
    September 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I loved “The Help” also. Other favorite books I’ve read this year are: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (quite a mouthful, but well worth the effort–I’ve read it twice!), all of Andy Andrew’s books, esp. “Island of Saints” and “The Noticer”. Just read “To Kill a Mockingbird” and it was so good, I almost started it all over again, but picked up “Jimmie” by Robert Whitlow instead and was so sad when it ended. Jan Karon has a precious children’s book about her grandmother called, “Miss Fannie’s Hats”; she also wrote the Mitford series, which are precious keepers for adults. My fav children’s book illustrator is Eloise Wilkin! Also, have you found the “Carl” books about the big dog who takes care of the family baby? They are so sweet and fun to make up the story that goes with the pictures of Carl’s and baby’s escapades! I am a 53 year old mom with married children your age, Darby, and my bonus baby who is now 11! Have one precious 6 month old grandbaby girl. I love your blog, watching your children grow up, the recipes, sewing projects, crafts, and your spiritual journey! Thanks for being a lovely blessing to so many of us!

  • Val
    September 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    If you like a good gothic mystery every now and then – and this one deals with the issues of being a twin, which I think you will appreciate! – I recommend The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It’s the best new book I’ve read in a long time. I also have always liked the book Christy by Catherine Marshall. If you watched the tv series and didn’t like it, don’t fear. The book is much better!

  • Cheryl Mitchell
    September 4, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I love your blog and am always inspired. Thank you for all the information you share!
    My children and I have been talking about Halloween already and how we will decorate. They mentioned ghosts… I saw the ghosts outside your backdoor (on the renovation page). They were adorable!!! Can you give some details on what you used to create these?
    Thank you! and God Bless,
    Cheryl Scott Mitchell

  • sarah
    September 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hi, Darby. A few people have already mentioned The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but it’s worth mentioning again. Also The Hunger Games trilogy is really good. the third one just came out in August, so you wouldn’t have to wait to read it. All of these would be good book club books…you’ll want to discuss with your friends!

    My two favorite Christian books, right now at least, are written (or co-written) by the same author, Paul David Tripp. They are What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (haven’t finished it yet b/c I get convicted of my sin in each paragraph and have to stop, process, repent, etc…) and How People Change. Both great books on sanctification.

  • Ellen
    September 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Honey for a Child’s Heart is a great book about children’s literature – for itty bitty ones to preteens. I have checked it out of the library many times and need to buy a copy. It has fabulous book lists and inspring examples of how the author incorporated reading, including scripture reading, into her family’s life.
    A series we are enjoying now involves few words but we LOVE the Carl books by Alexandra Day! My older children “read” them to our 1 year old.

  • Karen
    September 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Favorite children’s book is “Stand Back!” Said The Elephant “I’m Going to Sneeze!” Very funny and always makes me laugh. Two favorite Christian books right now are Adopted for Life by Russel Moore and Radical by David Platz. Both were life changing. Thanks for your blog.

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