a thousand words Beyond the Hill

Layne Greene

Sarah Hingle, right, hangs from a tree near her family’s house about eight miles outside of Columbia, about 70 miles east of Bowling Green.

Last Friday and Saturday, Sarah’s brother Mark, left, cleared dirt for a picnic area halfway up a hill in which he carved steps with the shovel.

Sarah, 15, and Mark, 14, are part of a family that sometimes disagrees, but does not fight. Sarah said that sometimes, if one of her siblings does something she does not think is nice, she simply tells them, “I did not like it when you did that.” It’s a family that is not perfect, but one which strives to love each other and help each other throughout the day.

The family includes 12 children. The oldest is 19; the youngest is less than a year old. Six boys and six girls. They don’t watch television, but they know how to play with each other.

When the parents, Stephen and Ellen Hingle, married each other 21 years ago, they discussed having 12 children – if it was God’s will – because Steve had read “Cheaper by the Dozen” to Ellen.

“You can’t imagine it until it happens,” Ellen said.

The family has lived in Kentucky for 11 and a half years. Steve and Ellen home-school nine of the children, from a pre-schooler to a senior in high school.

Layne Greene is a senior photojournalism major from Bowling Green. She can be reached at [email protected]