In Lieu of Halloween We Do Freedom Day

As a Christian mom, trying to decide what to do about Halloween can be difficult. We know about the origins of the holiday. We know about the terrible practices of occult groups on that night. When I think about those things I feel more like grieving and praying than celebrating.

I prayed about it and decided to do something altogether different. I knew that some Christians celebrate Martin Luther’s birthday and the Reformation, and some have Harvest parties at churches. But I feel that the Lord led us to celebrate something that we feel very strongly about. And that is FREEDOM!

The link at the top of this post is to a video on in which I explain some of the things we do to celebrate Freedom Day. I have also written other posts on my blog about Freedom Day under the category, Freedom Day.

My younger kids are excitedly preparing their lists of questions for me to ask them on Freedom Day. I have already bought lots of CANDY. They are counting down the days until Oct. 31. I have read some books about Freedom to them. We talk about how important Freedom is. One of the very important Freedoms that we have in this country is Freedom of Religion. Another is Freedom of Speech. And under these Freedoms, we have Freedom to homeschool our children. Woohoo, one of our favorites!

Please watch the above video, and leave a comment. Do you think this is something your family would like to do instead of Halloween? Would your kids like to try this? What do you think?

All of you, have a wonderful Autumn!

Enjoy the changing seasons and the winds of change that God is sending as things get better and better!

Autumn blessings to all of you!

Making Groundhog Pancakes

It’s Groundhog Day! So I decided we should celebrate!

So we made Groundhog Pancakes.

groundhog pancake Emma's

This one is Emma’s.

groundhog pancake Abby's

This one is Abby’s.

groundhog pancake full Abby

Abby kept building hers.

groundhog Emma eating

Emma decided, “Enough building. Let’s eat!”

groundhog pancake Kelsey's

This is Kelsey’s creative groundhog.

Groundhog Day all 3 girls

Happy Groundhog Day from the Douglas girls!

Family Fun in Ohio in the Middle of March

My dad had a stroke at the end of February, right before his 80th birthday.

I needed to go see him and help in any way I could.

So 7 of the kids and I piled into the van and drove for 2 days to go visit the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. We stayed for almost 2 weeks.

My brother and sister and their families really made the time special for my kids.

kids of 4 wheelers


Keith Hawkey Family



me and joe

Emma and umbrella back

Emma and umbrella front

Morgan green shirt

All of us in green

all of us in green with me

Fiona in the woods

mom and dad irish shirts

Emma and Abby in green dresses

 Kelsey kept our traditions even though we were far from home.


She made green eggs and ham – which Patrick enjoyed immensely!

And she also made green lemon squares. Yum!

Green lemon squares

Patrick and fish

Garrett and Cody Fishing

Kelsey swimmin in it

Patrick and Cody sunbeam

Bringing in the New Year Douglas Style



Owning my life means “living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love,” according to Sally Clarkson.


She wrote this book Own Your Life to help moms develop a vision for living a life of purpose by finding out what God’s purpose is for their life, accepting whatever that purpose or calling is and carrying it out in a joyful, intentional, life-giving way.



This large family of mine is a big part of God’s purpose for my life. Being a wife and mother is a big role to fulfill. I can only do it well as I rely on God’s guidance and strength. Doing it well includes being joyful and loving and gentle as I carry out my responsibilities. That is where I need the most supernatural help.


Speaking of responsibilities – this son, Morgan Keith, will now be taking modeling and acting classes. We took him to an audition and he was called back because they saw potential in him. I will do my best to help him fulfill his dreams and purpose for which God made and equipped him.




This son, Patrick, just made his first sale. I have been doing the best I can to help him further his new career and develop the gifts that God has given him.


This son, Shawn, was just offered his first full-time job, which he accepted, and he loves!!! I am committed to supporting him in whatever way I can so that he can continue to do a great job in this place of employment and any other endeavors that he undertakes.




Another part of owning my life is creating a beautiful home for my family. The atmosphere is important. The sights and sounds and aromas of home will stay with my children forever. I will be intentional about creating a lovely place, with a peaceful, happy atmosphere so that my children will have fond memories and feel secure and content and have warm thoughts and feelings about home and family.






IMG_20141215_074128Part of creating memories is keeping traditions for the holidays. We like to have a beautiful Christmas tree, a beautiful mantel including our favorite  manger scene and stockings that can be stuffed to overflowing!




IMG_20150110_115954The biggest part of our role as parents is to make sure that our children know about God and know Him for themselves. Gary is reading the Christmas story from the Bible (on his phone!) before we open stockings or presents or anything on Christmas morning.


We are teaching our children patience as they wait for their siblings to get up and wait to open presents. This is Emma waiting patiently. She was the first one up, and she had to wait for several hours before she got to open presents.




Good things come to those who wait!IMG_20150110_115840


We postponed our Christmas until Jan. 10. There were many reasons for this. One of them was that Shawn wanted time to get gifts for everybody this year. He really enjoyed buying gifts for all of us, and he said giving was his favorite part of Christmas this year. Here he is holding up his favorite gift, the One New Man Bible.IMG_20150110_121936


Abby liked the pink camo backpack that her big brother gave her.IMG_20150110_122130


And Morgan was happy with the grooming kit that he received from Shawn.


Kelsey is holding and wearing her gifts.IMG_20150110_164039

Kelsey USED her gifts to make the German Chocolate cake, the Confetti cake and the Strawberry cake.



Each of the FIVE birthday celebrants chose a different kind of cake, so we had FIVE different cakes!

Another part of making life fun and celebrating the gifts, talents, and uniqueness of each child is celebrating and encouraging their creativity. And Fiona is FULL of creativity. She made up a story about this little doggy, Boo. The story involves a Good Plan and an Evil Plan that Boo has to choose between. Fiona drew them on two pieces of paper. I found the papers and asked what they were about and then took pictures of it to encourage and validate Fiona’s creativity.IMG_20150109_171455


Without any prompting from me, the kids made birthday cards for each other. Here Garrett is making a card for Morgan.IMG_20150109_163623

IMG_20150109_171420Fiona made a card for each person whose birthday we were celebrating. This called for lots of drawing! She finds out each person’s favorite animal and draws it for them. She just turned 11 years old. On this day, Jan. 10th!










IMG_20150116_161418 (1)



This was something I found in the play room one day right before Christmas, so I took a picture of it. When the kids see me take a picture of something they did, they know I think it’s very clever and special, and they feel encouraged to keep using their creativity.


Having five birthdays within the first two weeks of January is – – A LOT to celebrate. So I decided we should add Christmas to the mix and really have a BIG, BIG PARTY. So we did. We had Christmas in the morning and the BIG Birthday party that same evening.

Anna didn’t seem to want her picture taken.IMG_20150110_164929


Ha! Got her!IMG_20150110_164047

Emma had chosen a Confetti cake.


We sang Happy Birthday to her first and she blew out her candles.


Then we sang Happy Birthday to GarrettIMG_20150110_164318

And he blew out his candles. He had the German Chocolate cake.



Then we sang Happy Birthday to Fiona, and she blew out her candles. Fiona had our famous Hot Fudge Pudding cake.


Then we sang Happy Birthday to Morgan, and he blew out his candles. He had a lemon cake.


And last, but certainly not least, Shawn blew out the candles on his Strawberry cake.





And I did not bake nary a cake!


Kelsey baked three of them, Katie made one and Anna made one. I just relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere, the fellowship, the love and the fruits of their labor.


Which I guess you might say is the fruits of my labor.


The fruits of “living with deep intention, bold faith and generous love”.

I linked this post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up

And at A Wise Woman Builds Her House Link-Up

Apparently I Took A Blogging Break

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging. It just sort of happened.

First this happened.



We got our family pictures taken at Honey Farm in Katy, Texas by Rovak Technologies, Michael Rovak, photographer.















Then Christmas season was upon us.

Christmas mantel

Kelsey and I began to decorate.



Then Abby lost a tooth, and I had to help the Tooth Fairy. I got a reward!




Our tree had some problems which took two days to solve. A twisted trunk causes a tree to lean or fall, depending on which way the wind blows. We had to take it back and get it cut more.


OK, now the tree’s straight.



This has been going on for 6 months. Teaching Anna how to drive. She’s good, but it was still nerve-wracking at first. She is taking an online driving course called Aceable, which she dearly loves. And they think she’s pretty awesome, too.





But anyway, back to Christmas doings.

We made Christmas cookies.



We weren’t ready for Christmas on Dec. 25th, so we are postponing Christmas until Jan. 10th. But to help the littles endure the wait, we let each of them open one present the day after Christmas.

IMG_20141227_172019 (1)






The little girls were surprisingly good little mommies.



Two days after Christmas, we finally got to go to see the Christmas lights that I saw when I was out with Patrick helping him sell ADT security systems, his new job.






The lights were fabulous! The kids loved them.



Of course, Charlie Brown is standing there all by himself.



Katie made more Christmas cookies. No more girly angels for her. She made one with a sword!



She made a really big cookie, and I asked her what that was going to be. She said she saw it as a blank canvas.  Look what she painted on her blank canvas with icing and her imagination and a toothpick!


So, as you can see, I have not been lying around watching TV, eating bonbons. On the contrary, I have been extremely busy trying to keep up with everyone’s needs and wants and the demands of the holiday season. It has been fun. It has been busy. And I feel so very blessed.


I hope your season has been blessed and full of the joy of Christmas.


Here is our family’s greeting to all of you: