Donna was born in Portland, Oregon, the third child of eight, whose father was going to dental school. After her father’s graduation, she was raised in Idaho Falls and attended college at Brigham Young University. She married Fred Burt from Emmett, Idaho and they lived in Boise for 12 years. Donna was not able to have children so she and Fred adopted a boy and a girl. Fred was killed by a drunk driver in 1981.
Three years later, Donna met and married Michael Frame from Price, Utah whose wife had died of stomach cancer leaving 9 children. Mike and Donna raised their 11 children together. They have been married 29 years and have served two Senior Couples’ Missions for their church in Cambodia and Connecticut. They have 35 beautiful grandchildren. Donna has recently survived cancer and has a positive outlook on the future.
Philosophy in parenting
“Work Is My Best Friend.” I believe it is important for everyone to learn to work; work has its own reward; work is fulfilling.
I believe that when you want less, you should get more and when you want more, you should get less. When our children complained that they wanted LESS… less work, less responsibility, less homework, etc., I have tried to make sure they got more of the things they were complaining about. When they complained and wanted MORE… more desserts, more clothes, more free time, I dished out a little less the next time.
Besides a posted, rotating, weekly job list there was usually a list of paying jobs to do. Any child could earn money if they wanted to work harder. Whenever a child said they were bored, I handed them a list of jobs. They soon learned to keep busy doing things they thought of.
How Being A Mother Has Impacted My Life
I faced the possibility of never becoming a Mother. However, I ended up with 11 wonderful, responsible children. At first I thought that I could shape my children into who I thought they should be. In reality my children have taught me more than I ever could have taught them. I have watched their patience with my frustrations; their compassion with a brother whose wife died; their forgiveness as I muddled through each day trying to do my best.
I have learned that Motherhood has more to do with nurturing, than birthing. It has more to do with sticking with each day, than achieving honors. It has a lot to do with faith, and hope, and love. I often think of my own Mother and hear her voice in my ear, “Always put it in the same place so you can find it,” “Be good to yourself or no one else will” or “Just iron one and throw one away!” But most of all I remember how excited she was when I called to visit. When I was 16 I remember wondering what life would bring… and I am grateful for every good or difficult experience.
Making others feel needed and loved. My husband says that I have a gift of making others around me feel loved. Recently when I was getting through a cancer ordeal, I was given a book of letters from hundreds of family, friends and fellow workers who wished me well and told how I had helped them.
- I teach a class of 10 years old in church. They came to see me shortly after I came home from the hospital. I love these children and connect emotionally and spiritually with them when I teach.
- While in Connecticut on a mission, in addition to our assigned work, I was referred to as the Social Director because I went out of my way to talk to the other couples who were serving and arranged activities when we could meet and talk together.
- I exercise each morning with a group of seniors at the fitness center. I try to seek out ones who are new or alone and get to know them.
- Our extended family includes my family, my first husband’s family, my second husband’s family and my second husband’s first wife’s family. We love them all and see the great impact they each have in our lives. They each wrote a letter expressing their love to me.
- All of our 11 children wrote heartfelt messages of how I had impacted their life. These things are hard for me to write because I just treat others the way I feel I would like to be treated. They are important to me. I guess that affects children, families and communities because we all want to be important. Caring is important.
4-H When I was 9 years old I took my first 4-H sewing class. I took many more 4-H classes while I was growing up. I really liked them, and majored in clothing and textiles in college. While I was in college, I rounded up a few young girls and taught them 4-H sewing. Later, I organized my 4 daughters and their friends into 4-H sewing and cooking classes. It was demanding to follow the specific rules of 4-H, but good to teach rules of conduct along with sewing and cooking skills while the girls were in elementary school. It was even good for them to be judged for their skills. I liked including their friends because my own girls were more cooperative when they and their friends needed to reach a certain level of mastery together.
PTA I have tried to help out in the PTA wherever our children have gone to school. I served in homerooms, on committees, and as President. My children felt good when they saw me at school. I felt good when I worked to get issues resolved in positive ways. Even when I served as an Election Judge, I was at the school where my children could watch for me. What is good for the family is good for the community.