Looking Back at 2008

by | Jan 5, 2009 | Personal Reflections | 18 comments

The other night I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up (way too late) and was looking back through my old posts of 2008! WOW!! What a busy year… No wonder I am exhausted!

In January I said Goodbye to my 20’s and turned 30. Our family also participated in our local March for Life.

In February we celebrated Rascal’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. I also made ornaments for our Jesus Tree, embarked on a mission to reduce the clutter, and cut Chiquita’s hair for the first time.

In March I reflected on peace (which I should do more often!), was surprised by snow and made a Butterfly Lap Book with Twinkle Toes. I also attempted an extensive Spring Cleaning of our home. OH, and I can’t forget our Easter plans, hubby’s birthday, or that I was amazed at the generosity of others, when we were able to raise $3250 and countless prayers for our dear friends, the Hadley’s! (Please continue to pray for them!)

Even after the crazy weather, March did indeed go out like a lamb, and with lamb cupcakes to boot!

In April we celebrated Chiquita’s birthday.

I took lots of photos for the April Shower of Photos and launched Catholic Cuisine (hubby came up with the name!). Of all the photos I took, the ones for the 3rd and 4th were my favorites:

May was a BUSY month… CRAZY busy!!!

In May I found out that I am intolerant to just about everything… I also learned that if I stay away from those foods my energy goes up, my weight goes down, and I am such a happier person. I haven’t been staying away from those foods. Need I say more?

I also traveled to Washington for the totally awesome Northwest Catholic Homeschooling Conference! While there I learned a number of things. First of all, never leave anything in your car. Second, my insurance company ROCKS! Third, I found out that I set unachievable goals. And finally, Fourth, I am married to am man with superpowers.

I had my First Blogoversary!!

I also made Trip Journals for my kids and packed for our 3 week road trip to Nebraska and Arizona, for my Brother-in-laws Ordination and First Mass at which our oldest received his First Holy Communion from the newly ordained Father who is also his Godfather!

Speaking of this First Communion, one of my favorite blog posts from this past year was “Almost Excommunicated“.

From Nebraska we drove down to Arizona and that drive was the worst EVER. By the grace of God, hubby and I survived it with out going completley nuts.

Our trip continued through mid June and we had a great time once we arrived in Arizona, and got to visit my in-law’s and then to California to see my Grandparents. I never did get around to posting pictures from those visits… I’m starting to wonder if I ever will?

Despite coming down with that awful bug, we had a wonderful trip… However, you didn’t hear me complaining when we started seeing mountains once again and arrived home!

In June we also celebrated Snuggles first birthday! Here is the slide show of pictures from his first year.

In July I nearly killed myself trying to put on a birthday party for Captain, with 31 children/adults, while hubby was away fighting fires. Thankfully my Aunt and Brother helped out, but it still took me a week to recover! I felt like I went through Boot Camp!

During July, we were also worried about Snuggles (who is just fine) and deeply saddened by the sudden infant death of my nephew.

In July and August we were so blessed to be able to attend Marci’s weekly Summer with the Saints.

In August Twinkle Toes turned 5, six weeks of daily swimming lessons came to an end, and I was super busy preparing for the 200-2009 school year.

On September 1st we were blessed with our 7th Godchild! We have always had the same number of children as godchildren, and so I knew it was just a matter of time till I would be expecting…

In September we also had our first day of school. I started a new Little Flowers Group for my girls and 9 others. And hubby was dispatched to another fire and gone most of the month. (Thankfully he was close enough that we were able to visit him a couple times.)

In October, hubby got home just in time to celebrate the feast of St. Therese and our anniversary on October 2nd. I really enjoyed looking back at our wedding day. Shortly after, sure enough, we found out that we were expecting another little one in June.

A few of our activities this month included a trip to the Pumpkin Patch, Learning to Sew, and our All Saint’s Party.

November was a very hard month. It started as usual with the Annual All Souls Mass at a local cemetery. Little did we know that we would be heading back to the cemetery later that month to bury our little Gabriel.

Amidst our sadness, we were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with my family and visit with my sister and her family who live on the opposite side of the country (and will be moving even father away–to Japan–this coming summer after she delivers her little one), which meant that Snuggles got to meet his Godparents and we got to meet a godson/nephew of ours as well! This also meant that my parents got to have all their grandchildren over at the same time!

December couldn’t come soon enough and I was happy to distract myself with St. Nicholas Day and getting ready for Christmas! I loved seeing my girls dressed for Santa Lucia Day! We all enjoyed it when my brother took us all on a trip to the Farm. And before the end of the year, Snuggles finally started walking, even with SHOES on!! We were even able to get a family picture taken for our Christmas card. (Here’s my other favorite, but it was a bit blurry.)

This year we were also blessed with Mrs K., Captain’s tutor, who has made a world of difference for me this year. Captain has gone from not being able to read to being 10 lessons away from finishing his Auditory Processing Program!! He will have finished the program with only 67 lessons (it should have taken at least 120!) and his tutor says this is due to the foundation he has been given at home! She has also been squeezing in short lessons with Rascal and Twinkle Toes, and will continue with them until summer. It has been hard financially, but I can’t tell you how much of a relief it has been to know that I wasn’t a complete failure at homeschooling, and that his learning challenge could be fixed!!

Somewhere, amidst all of our busyness, we celebrated feast days and fell behind in Math and History (which are now a high priorities for 2009!). Speaking of school, our Christmas break is now over and tomorrow we must get back to some sort of routine, which means its time for me to get to bed! Goodnight and God Bless!


  1. Anonymous

    Hi Jessica ~ I was wondering if you could give me some information about the auditory processing program that you used so I could look into it for one of my sons. We struggle a lot with homeschooling and a speech therapist we had seen mentioned that she suspected a processing problem. My e-mail address is: hershelhillman@yahoo.com . Thanks so much and, as always, your blog always inspires me to be a better homeschooling mother!

  2. Regina

    agh, do we really have to get back to school tomorrow? i dont want to!! actually i need to clean my house since marc will be coming on tues/wed~YES, we can put school off yet another…week?!

  3. Kristyn Hall

    Enjoyed this post so much. You’ve certainly had a busy year, filled with joys and sorrows. 🙂 🙁

  4. Aimee Landreneau

    Hi Jessica! I have the same interest as Danielle. I have a friend who has been praying for the right program for her 8 year old. I’d appreciate any info!



  5. Nadja

    What a retrospective! That must have taken you some time to put together!

    We are back at school as of this morning too. It may be that I am more sorry for it than the kids!

    Your blog is lovely, as is your family. I am thrilled to know of a “second-generation” homeschool family!

  6. Anonymous

    What a lovely recap of 2008! Blessings to you and yours throughout 2009…

  7. Christine

    Wow…you are a blogging superstar! That would take me 3 days to write!

    You have had a wonderful year. Highs and lows. But your family is so precious.

  8. Sweetness and Light

    Such a great year and such a beautiful family! Best wishes for an awesome 2009!

  9. A

    What a great post! It made me realize just how fast this last year went…
    What a great idea… I wonder if I can do it, lol.
    Hope you are feeling better!!!

  10. Aubrey

    What an amazing year in review! I loved re-seeing all of the pictures. I liked seeing Nebraska in there a couple of times; still wish I would have know you back then (back then…like it was that long ago).

    I like seeing your family at your March for Life. We attend ours here too but haven’t yet been able to bring the children along; it’s always too cold. In fact, seven years ago when we were pregnant with Morgan and had just started seeing Dr. Mc, we ran into him at the Walk for Life downtown and we knew we had the right man for the job.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post! 🙂

  11. Jamie Jo

    What a great way to look over your year!! Now that took some time, all those links!! You are SO good at linking!

  12. Angela

    Jessica, Have I told you how much I LOVE your blog. You are amazing!
    Loved reading your year in review!

  13. PlainCatholic

    What a truly blessed year. Thank you for being Pro Life too. Love the wee bitty lace coverings on your daughters.

  14. Anonymous

    I just read the Almost Excommunicated entry. Can you laugh now? I sure did. It was well written and good to see the pictures at the end. God bless!

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Wow! Thank you all for your comments! I had fun putting this post together, and looking back through our year… It sure flew by!

    Danielle, Aimee, and anyone else that is curious, the program that Sue uses is called Lindamood-Bell, I’ll post a link.

    Teresa ~ Yes, we can laugh about it now! lol!

  16. Jen

    I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this post. You had quite a year! Isn’t it amazing how much we do in such a short amount of time, especially when we document it all. 🙂

  17. The Wades

    Amazing recap! That must have taken hours to do. You had a very impressive year. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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