Category Archives: Holiday Fun

I’m so Thankful

I’ve recently become not a huge fan of Christmas time, but Thanksgiving really gets me in great spirits! I love Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to reflect on all the things God has blessed me with. So many that I could never fit it into a list…

But I Gave it a Shot Anyway!!

10 Things I am Thankful for This ThanksgivingWP_20130405_026

1. My wonderful husband: He is such a blessing to me and my children! I do not know what I would do without my best friend and the love of my life!

10505380_10203632316202185_380169784626316716_n2) 3 beautiful children: They never let me get bored! I love who they are and can not wait to see who they become!

3) Health: I have been blessed to live in a country that currently gives me the freedom to make my own health choices. I can have my babies at home. I am able to provide my children with nourishing foods. I am able to deny shots that I deem unnecessary for my family. That’s a great thing! If you’re interested in the book that started my whole health journey, buy this book ( It is a great resource!!

4) Godly parents: I had a mom and dad that loved each other and loved Jesus. They were a great example of a marriage that wasn’t 7f592-397338_10151195190908890_1195012329_nperfect but trusted in Jesus in everything! December 21st will be one year since I lost my dad, and I still have not forgotten his example of love!

5) My si21973_1269770757766_7437428_nblings1661263_10201610490773538_1612295373_n: We are a rag-tag group, but we are full of love for each other! I’ve never come in contact with a family that is close as mine. We have times where we want to kill each other, but we ALWAYS love and stand by each other! Losing my brother last December left a big hole, but it was quickly mended by the 3 of us girls coming together and keeping our memories of him alive!

6) My oils: Yes. I said it. Did you think I wouldn’t? I am so thankful for essential oils!! They have been so great for my family. I use them for sickness, recipes, and so much more!

7) Good friends: I have a great group of very diverse friends. They keep me sane and laughing. They love my family and take care of us if we ever need it. God knew what he was doing when He gave me my wonderful friends!



8) Good television: I am thankful to be able to enjoy watching TV with my husband. God delights when we find joy in little things and I thank Him for great television like Lost, The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Walking Dead, and many more shows!

9) Online shopping: More specifically, Amazon and Vitacost. A lot of my shopping is done right in front of my computer and I am so grateful to have that access. It’s such a first world problem that I get frustrated when I am $3 short of getting free shipping! What a problem to have!! Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now

10) Jesus: I cannot say enough about Jesus! He saved me when I didn’t have any desire for a savior! He loves and accepts me just as I am.

[1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—[6] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, [7] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? I would love to hear in the comments!

Five Books about Autumn for Your Crunchy Children!

A few weeks have gone by, and I’m still just as in love with Autumn. To continue with my love for this season, I would like to share with you some books to read to your crunchy babies this fall!

5 Great Books about Autum

1) How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow by Wendell Minor: Award-winning artist Wendell Minor imagines larger-than-download (1)life pumpkins decorating some of America’s favorite places— the Capitol dome, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, even the Grand Canyon! This awesome book about pumpkins in full of fun facts and teaches a little about size and scale!

You can try one of these cute pumpkin crafts after reading. Be careful with the sharp edges.

2) Fall Leaves Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E.H. Rustad: A young girl sees leaves changing colors in Fall. She learns how the amount of sunshine affects how the leaves get food, grow, change colors, and fall. This is a cute book taking you on a leaf hunt!

3) Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert: Follow Leaf Man as the wind leaf-man-1f5ylexblows him in different directions, exploring beautiful landscapes. The illustrations are made from actual leaves. It’s a beautiful book that celebrates nature and your child’s imagination. This is a personal favorite for my boys, mostly because when we read this book, it’s usually followed by making our own leaf men!

4) Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller: Sophie takes a trip to the Farmer’s Market and gets herself a pet squash. She soon learns that her squash can’t last forever. Find out what she does when she notices changes in her new friend.35118

5) Before We Eat by Pat Brisson: This book gives children a better understanding of where their food comes from. Not “from the grocery store”. It takes you through the hard work involved in order to get the fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat they are eating, and helps them to realize how blessed they are to have food on the table. This book is perfect for Thanksgiving.

These are a few of my favorites and can be found on Amazon or FREE at your local library!

Memorial Day Activities

Tomorrow is a very special day. Not because most people get a day off of work or school. Not a day to eat as much as we possibly can. Though those things are going to happen in my house tomorrow, that’s not why we celebrate. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A day to honor and remember all of the men and women who died while serving our country.

Tomorrow at the Donald residence, we will be at home crafting it up with footprint American flags and patriotic picture frames, but if you’re able to get out, there is a lot going on for Memorial Day in the Birmingham area to help teach your children the importance of the holiday.

– There will be a Memorial Day observance at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo tomorrow at 9 am. No admission charge. Click here to get a full schedule of the day’s activities.

– All weekend long through tomorrow at the Birmingham Zoo, all active, disabled, and retired military and their dependents get free admission with proof of valid military ID.

– There will be Memorial Day celebration from 10:30 am to 3 pm tomorrow at American Village, also located in Montevallo. Free admission.

– A Memorial Day celebration will be held at the North Jefferson Memorial on Highway 31 in Fultondale starting at 10 am.

– The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be offering free admission to any military and up to 5 family members starting tomorrow going through Labor Day with a valid military ID.

These are just a few things going on in the Birmingham area. Hope you have a fun and blessed Memorial Day!

It’s Yucky on Earth Day!

The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for God has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Psalm 24:1-2 

Today is 44 years since Earth Day became a national holiday.

As a Christian family, I think Earth Day is something we should celebrate. Genesis 1 tells us that God is the Creator of this Earth and He said His creation was good! He put us in charge of working and caring for what He created.

When planning an exciting day of planting flowers and outdoor games, it is always best to also check on what the weather will be like that day. I’m sure the Earth was happy about the  much needed rain. I, however, was not.

Not to fear! I always have a backup plan! 

Here are 5 things we are doing inside for Earth Day that will help teach the kids about taking care of their temporary home.

1. Emptying our small recycling cans into a large can to take off. This is especially fun for my boys because dumping things out is their specialty.
2. A pretty tissue paper Earth craft
3. Going through the toy boxes and filling a bag to give to Goodwill.
4. Making one of these neat found things collages with things from our recycling cans.
5. Watching The Lorax! This was my favorite Dr. Seuss book growing up and the movie is hilarious!

Whatever way you choose to spend your Earth Day, have fun doing it!

Picture credit:

Thankful for Aunt Shirley!!

Last year my Thanksgiving post was about 10 things I’m thankful for. This year, I want to tell Jesus thank you for my (Jonny’s) Aunt Shirley! She has been such a blessing to me! I’m finally able to post pictures so I want to post our new schoolroom with all the awesome things she gave us! We are set through 3rd grade!
Our choo choo train of the months. Jon Mark’s favorite!
I painted my own chalkboard on the wall with a simple recipe
of 1 cup paint and 1 tbsp unsanded tile grout.
She sent plenty of stuff to make fun bulletin boards and crafts.
And so many books!!
I wish everyone could have an Aunt Shirley! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Our Advent Calendar (updated with picture)

Even though it’s still Fall, we retired our checklist so that we could get our Advent calendar up. We did all but 8 this year. Much better than our doing 7 last year!

This year’s Advent calendar is completely scrap diy. It’s made from toilet paper rolls, a diaper box, and a paper bag. It might look a little jank but it serves its purpose!


Each little circle that the boys get to excitedly punch through every night has 2 slips of paper in it. One green slip with a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible with help from Home With the Boys, and one red strip with a fun activity for all of us to do together.

It begins with our first night of reading about creation and putting up the Christmas tree!

Any other diy calendars out there you’d like to share?

We Just Couldn’t Wait

  I have taken a several month hiatus to have fun with wild children and watch too much Netflix, but this is a topic too awesome to not blog about. And we just couldn’t wait.

FALL came a week early in the Donald house!!
Fall is our absolute favorite season in this house and the 22nd is just too far away!
The boys and I have spent the morning coloring pictures of pumpkins, getting decorations out, and (most importantly) making our house smell like all things fall. Our house smells like a pumpkin patch/apple orchard today! AND I’M LOVING IT!!
I’ve got one of my yummy cinnamon pie in the oven and we have printed out our fall to do list just like THIS ONE from last year!
Let’s raise our Pumpkin Spice Lattes to a good day to bring in a great Autumn!
Anyone else have fun traditions for bringing in the season?

St Patrick’s Day Y’all!

It feels like centuries since I’ve even spoken the word Blogspot.
Today is March 1st…the first day of my favorite month! Is it weird to have a favorite month?
ANYWAY…I thought I’d start March off with a post about an awesome March holiday! (Hint: It’s also Jon Mark’s birthday)

5 Fun Traditions and for St. Patrick’s Day:
1: A “lucky” breakfast from thoughtfully simple
2: An obvious tradition- get decked out in green!
3: Make fun SPD art, like this adorably easy handprint leprechaun from a blog I recently discovered, Meet the Dubiens
4: Have a green potluck with the family!
5: Finally, celebrate my son’s birthday, of course! O wait…I guess that’s just our tradition…You’re still welcome to! He’s that awesome!
Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions? I’d love to hear about them!


To Have or Not to Have a Resolution

On the last day of 2012, I woke up thinking about all that happened in this busy year. We celebrated 2 years of marriage, a first birthday, a new baby, a niece getting to meet Jesus, a new church, and a whole lot more. Another important thing that happened in 2012; I read a book that opened my eyes to my real level of intelligence. A friend let me borrow a book called “The Core” by Leigh Bortins that I couldn’t put down. Even if you aren’t homeschooling or planning to homeschool, you need to read this book. It made me realize that even though I was a straight A student and graduated with honors, I didn’t learn much of anything. Like I said, even if you don’t homeschool this book helps you to know what you need to focus on when your children are at home. Well, now that I’m done over-promoting my new favorite book, let me get to my main reason for this post: my resolution for 2013. I don’t usually make resolutions because I think they set you up for disappointment, but after reading the book I decided this is my year for a goal. Drum roll please…my resolution is to read AT LEAST 2 books a month that are educational and challenging. My normal reading is 2 books a YEAR (if that)! Yeh…straight A honor student. My first book for January is the biography of Martin Luther. Wish me luck! So…do you make resolutions? What is yours for the coming year?