Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

We have had a fun-filled few days here at the Casa de Donaldson! Saturday, we went to Mainstay Farms for a Fall at the Farm Adventure (see below). Yesterday after church and a nap we carved three pumpkins. This is really the first year that the kids have gotten in there and "helped" with the carving. Grandma came over to snap tons of pictures and the kids had an awesome time pulling out pumpkin "guts". Ethan and Elijah even ate some guts just to see what they tasted like. (Eewww!) I can't imagine who put the idea of eating the guts into their impressionable little minds. ;)

This morning, we went to a Pumpkin party at the Peyton's. Cass was at school, so it was just the boys and I. We had a great time. The boys got to play outside (in the cold) with lots of their friends from church. The searched for pumpkins, bowled with pumpkins, played Pumpkin Basketball, and created a pumpkin craft. They also decorated pumpkin cookies that they then devoured! It was a really fun morning and was so sweet to watch all of the kids play. I still say that Wendy is one of the coolest moms out there!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mainstay Farm

We went to Mainstay Farm today for some Fall fun with our Life Group class. We had a lot of fun chasing the kids around to all of the different activities. They had a long hay ride, a 3 story tree house, a wooden maze, and lots of other fun stuff. The kids had a blast and were totally worn out by the time we got home.

On the hay ride, the farmer told us about naming the farm Mainstay. He and his wife purchased the farmland almost 20 years ago and weren't sure what to do with it. They decided to farm Christmas Trees and went to a Christmas Tree farming conference. There they learned that the piece of wood that you tie the seedling to is called a mainstay. The mainstay marks the baby tree so that you can find it when the grass gets high, offers support so that the tree will grow straight, and it protects the seedling when storms come. He compared the mainstay for the trees to Christ as our Mainstay. From the moment that we accept Him, He marks us as His own. He disciplines and guides us with His Spirit and He protects our hearts when we face the storms of life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Love and Logic

We had another MOPS meeting this morning and it was great. I really recommend that any of you moms out there with kids younger than grade school age find a group near you. Anyhow, our speaker this morning presented on "Love and Logic". It's a parenting movement spearheaded by Jim Fay and it is pretty cool. Trey has read up on it and really likes the ideas. It is all about maintaining your sanity while raising your kids to be responsible, productive, caring members of society. Some of the ideas are using one liners like "That's sad." and "I know" as responses when your kids complain. Another is to put off punishment until you've calmed down by telling your child, "We are going to discuss this, but not right now. We'll talk later. Try not to worry.". Generally it's about using as few words as possible, since lectures and yelling seem to be ineffective anyway. Check it out at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My MIL is Awesome

I helped my mother-in-law set up for an art show this morning. She specializes in fused glass, paintings, and glass jewelry. We set up a few tables of her work at a show with other glass artists and she sold over $400 worth of her art! I am so excited for her! She is really quite talented and takes great joy in creating her pieces. If you're interested, check her out at

A Trip To Great Wolf Lodge

Top: Ethan, Sam, Elijah, Stew, Cass; Top Middle: Ethan; Bottom Middle: Cassandra; Bottom: Elijah
We took the kids up to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX yesterday. Trey's sister was in town and got tickets for everyone. The kids had a great time playing with Aunt Toni, Dave, and their cousins, Stewart and Sam. They really loved the wave pool and kiddie play area. Elijah wasn't so fond of the Lazy River, but Mommy made him go around it about 3 times. We all had a blast and after 3 hours of frolicking the kids were hungry and totally worn out. We all slept like rocks last night. Thanks, Aunt Toni, for a fun-filled day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


STUCK!! Sometimes one word says it all. This picture is worth a thousand words though. Poor Elijah. Being the bad parents that we are, we left him there while we searched for and found the camera and then took the picture.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Park

Trey and I took the kids to the park this morning. They fed the ducks, geese, and one brave squirrel, played on the playground, and walked the trail with us. It was a great time (until we told them it was time to go home, of course). I loved watching them inch closer and closer to the geese, only to back quickly away when one honked out a warning. The weather was divine and Elijah kept looking up and saying "Tree!". We don't have many real trees down here in TX, so walking through the "woods" at the park was like taking a stroll through a forest for the kids. They had fun and it was a pleasure to watch them run and play. We are so blessed. (BTW- the boys have been napping for over 2 hours now, so park time is tops in Mommy's book for that reason, too.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Years" (Thanks Rachel)

Saw this as a post in Instantly Mama's blog and thought it was a neat idea.

20 years ago- I was 11 and loving life in Stafford, VA. We lived in a great neighborhood and I was surrounded by lots of friends! (Still love all of you Locklears Landing kids!) My family had recently started attending Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, and I loved all of the fun activities offered there. I was in the 6th grade at AG Wright Middle School and had a good time switching between 2 teachers for the first time. Life was uncomplicated and exciting at the same time!

10 years ago- I was 21 and not really living the life that a follower of Christ should. I put myself through undue heartache and added way more drama to my life than was necessary. There was one point of light in that dark time of my life. I met my Trey. It's funny how God looks out for you even when you're running from Him. I won't say that it was an easy time or that I am proud of how I chose to live during those years, but I learned so much about God's love and redeeming grace.

5 years ago- I was 26 and a new mama. After Trey and I married, we wanted a child right away. We did get pregnant almost immediately, but our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. God was good, though, and Cassandra Nicole joined our family in 2003. I was learning all about late night feedings, diaper changes, spit up, breast feeding, and playing dress up with the most beautiful little girl in the world. I was blessed with the opportunity to stay home with Cass until she was 16 months old and I truly enjoyed watching her grow and learn during that time.

1 year ago- I was 30 and facing an eminent move back to TX. Trey had already headed down to DFW to search for a job and find us a church home. I remained in VA to work and take care of the kiddos. It was hard to be away from him, but it was also a special time to begin the process of saying goodbye to family, friends, and FALL! Trey came back for us in mid-November of last year and our family moved to Mansfield right after Thanksgiving. We began attending 1st Baptist Mansfield almost immediately. We have since joined the church and have been so blessed with new friends and an awesome church family.

Yesterday- I did the mom thing. Since moving to TX, I am a stay at home mommy again. Yesterday, I took Cass to school, did a bit of laundry, dusted, vacuumed, had tea with my mother-in-law, and cooked dinner. I also started this blogging thing. I doled out kisses and hugs to my kids and hubby and tried to remember through the hum-drum of everyday life how very blessed I am.

Today- I am excited that it is Friday and the weekend is almost here. I look forward to Trey having a few days off and getting to spend time together as a family. I think I might actually try to put a dent in the ironing that needs to be done and maybe I'll take a walk with my boys.

Tomorrow- I'll spend the day with Trey and the kids. I don't have any definite plans. Maybe we'll bake cookies, or go shopping, or head to the park. Whatever the case, I plan for us to enjoy our Saturday and be thankful for one another.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I am new to this Blogging thing, so I thought I'd start with an introduction. My name is Alyssia and I am 31 years old. My husband's name is Trey and we celebrated seven years of marriage on the 6th of this month. I love him more today than I did the day I said I do. He is an awesome husband and an amazing father. I am so lucky to have married my best friend. We have three kiddos. Cassandra is five and started kindergarten this fall. At pre-school graduation, she informed us that she would like to be a boat driver when she grows up. Ethan and Elijah are 2 1/2 and are so different that we are constantly questioned about whether or not they are twins. To set the record straight: Yes, I did carry them at the same time to a full 37 1/2 weeks!! Ethan is smaller with dark hair and eyes and a bit of a temper. Elijah is bigger with blond hair and blue eyes and he doesn't like to share his toy cars with anyone. Both of them light up our lives in totally different but equally wonderful ways. Well, that's a quick look at the Donaldson family. I haven't decided how I'll use this blog. Maybe it will turn into my prayer journal or just a diary of thoughts. Maybe I'll include poems or my views on current events. In all likelihood, it will be a combination of all of these things Enjoy!