Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Advent Conspiracy

This morning I discovered a new blog (new to me) that I am enjoying reading.  The link to the blog is  It is written by a Mennonite wife/mom and the focus is Living Simply In Order to Give.  AWESOME!

I clicked on a page to read entitled A New Tradition ( After reading that post I clicked on the link that took me to "The Advent Conspiracy".  Their link is ~  scroll down the page and click on the tv to listen and watch the clip.

It encompasses what we are moving toward in our family.  We've cut down on some gift giving & are focusing on family gifts.  We are giving through missions ~ to help others go on mission trips, to help fund special projects (like a well in Haiti), and thoroughly enjoying our Operation Christmas child boxes and volunteering time with that organization.

We still do gifts ~ I love gifts....both receiving and giving.  But it shouldn't be the focus of our entire year....and yes, I am guilty.

The theme of the Advent Conspiracy it ~

*Worship Fully
*Spend Less
*Give More
*Love All

Check out the links!  I am going back to the blog and read more!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Flock

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Fun "Field Trip"

We just got back from spending several weeks in GA ~ Amy and I wanted to go back to IKEA and we invited my mom, sister, nephews and niece to go with us. Amy and I had been before, this was everyone elses first time.  Getting there was easy ~  hop on I-85 and drive downtown.  They have a awesome underground parking garage, so the rainy weather wasn't an issue. 

3 generations, strolling through IKEA, looking at everything.  Testing out chairs, looking in cabinets, debating organizational items, etc. Everyone found goodies to buy.  Amy got 2 bedside tables for her new bedroom, some nifty drawer dividers for her dresser, and some baking goodies.  I got a handy, dandy little battery powered, frother tool.  Its made to froth milk for specialty coffee drinks, but I am using it to thoroughly mix up my homemade hot chocolate.  Yum!

We all ate lunch in the café and loved the Swedish meatballs.  Lesson learned ~ 1 meatball plate is enough for 2 to share.

After lunch, more strolling.  Ben and Bethany helped Amy find her boxes for her little tables and her desk chair she got.  The challenge came when we got to the register and had to separate out the goodies to piles for each person to pay for.

As we came to the registers, my nephew Ben (age 16) exclaims ~ "Aunt Donna, why did you ever bring me here....I love this place!"  Pretty high praise for a 16 year old guy to make!  My response ~ "I told you it was awesome!"

On the way out the big kids decided they needed an icee.  Little Bobby (age 9) treated his granny, aunt, and mom to an ice cream! 

Getting there was easy ~ but being typical Atlanta one way streets, getting back to I-85 wasn't as easy.  But we made it and had a great day together! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Using Essential Oils Topically ~

I found these great graphics that explain how essential oils work topically ~ the best place we have found to use our oils is on the bottom of our feet ~ usually at bedtime!

This is a "doTERRA - reflex feet chart and oil use guide" and can be found in the book Modern Essentials 5th Edition A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils-
Essential oils added to the bottom of your feet take just 30 seconds to enter your bloodstream and get to work!

For more information or to order doTERRA Essential Oils ~ please visit my online store page at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Farm House!

We closed last week, and took "possession" of our new house on Saturday morning.  Then the fun began ~ we had lots of helpers ~ Granny, my sister Brenda, niece Bethany, nephew Ben, and son James.  Andy & Amy Kate came on Saturday afternoon and helped us all day Sunday till they had to head back home.  Plus, me, Greg and Amy.

There are so many different projects to do that it is hard to concentrate on just one or two.  But, our first ones were ~ ripping the peeling wallpaper down out of Amy's new room and demo the old cabinets out of the laundry room and redo it.

The boys got the cabinets down out of the laundry room and the new pantry room.  Ahhhh, a nice clean slate!  It took the better part of 2 days to rip off the wallpaper, spackle holes, sand and get the walls ready for paint. 

Our new yard has loads of azalea bushes and they are gorgeous!  Also, lots of iris bulbs are coming up and blooming.

This will be my new sewing/craft room!

Laundry room before demo.  The sink and cabinet had to go because mine is a front load washer and the door wouldn't open!


Ben obviously doesn't like wallpaper!

Ben & James starting the cabinet removal

Mom washed out all my kitchen drawers and cabinets~

putting the steamer to work on her walls!

Greg got in on the demo

AmyKate working on wallpaper

Steaming ~ Day 2

James working on the walls

Andy took the falling apart closet doors down and removed the tracks.

And he put up Amys new ceiling fan

Mondays project ~ recover the old linoleum

Yay!  Its doneished!

Mom potted some plants for us!

Greg and Amy starting to paint her walls.  Coat one is done, coat two is tomorrow!

And I don' have any pictures of my sister ~ and since I took all the pictures, there are none of me.

We got lots done and have "only just begun"!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

19 Years Ago

19 years ago (tomorrow), the Lord blessed our family with an incredible gift ~ a baby girl.  Amy Lynn came into this world at 1:19 pm, weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces and had a full head of black hair.  She has always been our animal lover & advocate & expert, our creative child, our drama queen, our sensitive child and one of my best friends! She loves the Lord & serving on Mission Trips ~ Oklahoma, Memphis, New York, & Canada!  She loves dogs, bunnies, alpacas, stuffed animals, celebrations, children, teaching, reading, baking & cupcakes.  Chocoholic is not a strong enough word for how much she loves chocolate!  Second to chocolate would be coca cola.  Her favorite family vacations are the beach & Disney World. 

Happy Birthday Amy Lynn!  I love you!

Auntie Amy & Robert

Adoption Day 2007 ~ Greg adopted Amy and I adopted Katie & Will!

Maid of Honor at Katies wedding


My last homeschool graduate!  And the only one who homeschooled every year!

Amy loved ballet!

Yay!  She has sisters ~ Katie, Amy Kate & Jennifer!

Tomorrow we will celebrate with family! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils

DIY All Purpose Cleaner
3 oz water
2 tsp liquid castile soap ...
Dash white vinegar
5 drops peppermint
15 drops lemon
15 drops wild orange

DIY On Guard Spray Cleaner
1 cup distilled water
1 Tbsp Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap (you can buy on Amazon or at Target or Kroger)
10-15 drops OnGuard. (You could also use any of your other favorite oils to make this cleaner)
Put in a glass spray bottle and use to clean any surface.
You can use ON GUARD CLEANER CONCENTRATE. Just follow directions on bottle for dilution ratios for multi-purpose, dishes, bathrooms, and tough jobs.

Did you know you can steam clean your microwave with essential oils? Here’s a handy dandy tip ~
Fill a bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 5 drops Lemon oil. Microwave for 5 minutes. When the microwave turns off don't open the door, let the steam sit for a few minutes and then wipe the microwave clean. Brilliant!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Mom

The Lord blessed me with amazing parents!
Especially my mom!
Today is her birthday!
The best mom story I love to tell is when I was pregnant with Amy.  After 4 grandsons, she really wanted a girl (my family is following that same 4 grandson pattern, hummmmm).  She went with me to the ultrasound and when the technician said "its a girl", I looked over at mom and she was crying!  Now that is excitement!  She was also in the delivery room when Amy was born ~ they've always had a special bond...not many almost 19 year olds have their granny for a best friend! 
my sister, mom & I at Stone Mountain Park in GA

getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner at our house

Granny & her first great grandson ~ Robert

Mom, me & Amy ~ New Orleans...about to set off on the Senior Cruise!

Allen looks like he is about to fall over!  ~ 4 generations! Me, Aiden, Allen & Granny

Great grandson #3!

Robert chowing down on his Granny's green beans!

Thanksgiving night shopping with 4 generations!  The Granny retired first!

Aiden & Granny ~ napping!