My Daybook :: May 7, 2012

by | May 7, 2012 | Daybook, Home Education, Home Improvement, Zoology 1: Flying Creatures | 19 comments

Outside my window…
I am actually sitting outside my window at the moment!  The weather is perfect (sunny with a high of 86˚) and we are enjoying the sunshine. Even though today is suppose to be the warmest day of the week, we are all very happy to have a forecast of sunshine all week!

I am thankful… 
for our treadmill!  We purchased it the day after Thanksgiving and I am finally able to use it consistently. It sure makes it easier to exercise! At this point running for more than a minute or so is still too hard, but today I walked (with a little running) 4.062 miles in 60 minutes.   I started at 3.5 miles per hour, so at least that is a little progress!

I am thinking… 
about this post that was shared by a couple friends on Facebook.  My favorite paragraph:

“But lots of us are homeschooling because it’s what works best for our family. We don’t need to “keep it real” by pretending that our children are running wild (or did when they were little) because they didn’t–but then, homeschooling and discipline are two different issues, aren’t they? We don’t need to pretend that we’re raising geniuses (unless we are–but we, personally, are not, and that’s fine). We don’t look down our noses–most of us–at our fellow Catholics who public school or Catholic school or co-op school or small private school, because we’re big believers in doing what works for your family. And we don’t have some burning need to make-believe that the only sane people are the ones who tried homeschooling for a year before coming to their senses–because we’ve been doing it for a long time, and it still works for us.”  

Growing up I never, ever, pictured myself home educating my own children.  In fact, I was very adamant that I would “never do this to my poor children” when trying to convince my parents to put me back in school.  But God has a sense of humor and somewhere between growing up, and becoming a mother myself, we decided that home educating was the best option for our children. (And I am very grateful that my parents made the sacrifices necessary to homeschool me and my siblings, despite my protests!)  It isn’t for everyone, but it really is what works best for our family and I feel so blessed that it is an option!

Learning all the time… 
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’m so not ready for summer break in just five weeks!   🙂   I feel like we are finally making all sorts of wonderful progress after a difficult winter.   But thankfully, one of the many benefits of home educating is that we can just keep going!   Of course my children will be ready for a break from their few workbooks/textbooks, but so much of their “learning” happens all the time, through fun activities.  Last month I ordered the Lab Kit made to go along with our Science Book for this year.  I thought it was too expensive at the beginning of the year, but since we ended up skipping so many experiments, I took another look at the kit.  Yes, it is expensive, but worth every penny!  We have gone back to the beginning of the book and are working on some of the experiments we had skipped.  And now that it is Spring, it is a much better time of year to study all of the “Flying Creatures.”

Living the Liturgical Year at Home… 
When I was compiling my past links for the month of May I noticed that their really wasn’t very many. Most of the ways we live the liturgical year at home during this time of year revolve around The Garden of the Good Shepherd and our weekly Garden Parties.   This week’s theme is “The Gardener Plants Paradise” and I’ve been thinking about any changes I’d like to make for our “party” this coming weekend.  I’m thinking that it would be really fun to make some Owl Cake Pops, but then our little Owl Cake from last year was so cute too… Decisions, decisions!

From the kitchen… 
too many tempting treats.  Way too many!  The girls recently made some amazing “Dogwood Bark” for the state of North Carolina and then “Banana Berry Pancakes with Maple Syrup” for the state of Vermont.  Next they’d like to make a “New York Cheesecake” for the state of New York.  Perhaps I can talk them into saving that one for Mother’s Day!

I am creating… 
(or rather stocking) a “Snack Basket” in the kitchen pantry.  It’s been so nice to be able to just grab various snacks on our way out the door, which has been frequently these past couple weeks.

I am working on… 
a few different blog posts from recent field trips and school projects.  I am starting to think that I take way too many pictures!

I am going… 
to purchase some more Spice Jars, the next time I’m in town, for my sprinkles!  If we had The Container Store in our area, I would have been tempted to get these pretty jars with the chrome lids, but the black is nice and they are just half the price anyways.   Just looking at them all lined up in the glass jars makes me happy!  🙂

I am hoping… 
to have a chance to prepare for this week’s Little Flowers meeting on St. Thérèse de Lisieux and the Gift of Piety before Thursday!

I am reading… 
Amy has me completely intrigued by the 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results.  I’ve ordered the book and have been reading about the plan. Even though it isn’t recommended for those that are pregnant or nursing, some of the ideas and tips can still be incorporated into my daily routine.  It might just take a little longer to see those “Rapid Results!”

I am praying… 
for sweet little Simeon, as he recovers from surgery, and his dear momma.

Pondering these words…
from our dear St. Thérèse de Lisieux:

“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”

I am listening…  
to more Baby Giggles!  Bud has been making everyone around here smile lately, except when he is fussy at 2am every night… He is such a cutie!

Around the house… 
The stone on our fireplace is all finished, now we are just waiting for the wood stove to be re-installed.  Doesn’t it look so pretty?!

One of my favorite things…  
Sprinkles!   For some reason Hubby said he thinks I have plenty and doesn’t want me purchasing any more for awhile!  😉

A few plans for the week…

  • Teacher Wednesday morning
  • Piano Lessons Wednesday afternoon
  • Little Flowers Meeting on Thursday
  • Our 5th Good Shepherd’s Garden Party
  • Order a new daily planner for this next school year

A little peek at my day…

Rose and Bud trying to keep warm on a recent outdoor field trip.  
The weather has been all over the place lately! 


  1. olivia

    I love what you said a while back about how the way you choose to share your time with your children in special moments is with food. You all make some of the best cakes and treats and "teas" and everything else. I think your sprinkles are the perfect symbol of this. 🙂

  2. Nicole

    My kids love the Apologia science as well (me too!). I was wondering if those kits were worth purchasing. My son is already eyeing the flying creatures even though the boys chose swimming creatures for next school year.

    The fireplace looks great!

  3. Jessica Gordon

    It is so nice to have everything needed for each experiment all together in a labeled bag! Just the time it saves alone is worth the purchase price.

    My boys also wanted to jump ahead and study Swimming Creatures, but when I purchased all the books for this year and opened one up, it says that they recommend starting with the first book of the series (Flying Creatures) since book 2 (Swimming Creatures) builds on some of the things learned in the first book.

  4. Nicole

    Good to know, thanks! I saw the recommendation to read the flying creatures first as well, and with your boys' ages, I would have done the same, but mine are younger and I know it will be more of an intro and the more detailed classification will not be such a big deal. And after skimming through the book, I feel just fine with our choice. Have fun with the experiments!

  5. Jessica Gordon

    That's true! I probably could have used it as well, but at least I am all set with our books for next year!

  6. Kelly

    Oh, Jessica! Your mantel and stone around your hearth are gorgeous. It turned out SO well. I bet you'll be relieved to have it all wrapped up. I love sprinkles too! It's a girl thing I'm sure. 😉

  7. Stephanie

    I need a snack basket. I get stressed when my kids want a snack not because I'm irritated that they are hungry but because I cant THINK of what to give them. Thank you for sharing the homeschool post quote…all said very nicely.

  8. Barbara

    Love those sprinkles. I have never seen so many! 🙂

  9. Amy

    Hello from the fellow catholic mom who commented awhile back on how much we have in common. Now you are using our science books AND my planner? Hmmm…this is getting kinda weird! 😉

    I wanted to thank you for posting about the science kits. We had not ordered them originally either, due to cost. If you say they are worth it, I may have to reconsider.

    You don't happen to love archery too, do you?

  10. Collette

    Love the quote you posted!

    Thanks for the tip on the science kit. We're using the Apologia Anatomy book this year & I didn't purchase the kit because of the cost….and now we've been skipping all the experiments, too! We're continuing on through the summer, too (for the same reason about finally getting a good system going after a challenging winter, lol!!)…and I'm thinking this would make a great summer project.

    Blessings to you & your sweet family!!

  11. Christine

    I love your sprinkles collection. Just awesome. I also love the post about homeschooling and how others do not do me..however, love our Catholic faith so much.

  12. Jacqui

    I LOVE your pictures, you're such a photographer =) Question about your planner, do you use the menu and lesson planning part of them? I still can't figure out how to organize my lessons so I have them in one sheet, and I only have 3 in school! I'd love to hear how you do it, seeing you school a few more than me =) Thanks for sharing your awesome wisdom!

  13. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, Christine! One doesn't need to homeschool in order to be a devout Catholic, nor does homeschooling guarantee that ones children will grow up to be devout Catholics! We all just need to pray that we are doing God's will for ourselves and our families, and keep our eyes on Heaven! 🙂

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Jacqui!

    About my planners – I actually have two planners that I use on a daily/weekly basis… The Saints Planner from Tan sits on my desk, next to my computer, and I often reference it for upcoming saints and feasts days, planning any celebrations at home. The calendar/planner I linked to above stays in my purse (that's why I use the half size) and it is where I keep track of all of our activities and appointments. I don't really use either planner for lesson planning. I didn't order the lesson planning part – maybe if I had ordered the full sized version and included the planner I would have? – and I only used the menu planner a few times.

    I've used a few lesson planners in the past, both for myself and the kids, but I am always so sporadic about using them I usually give up by the end of the school year. This year I have been making checklists for the kids and that actually worked out pretty well.

    Another blogger recently asked if I would be willing to review her lesson planner that she self-publishes. I am looking forward to seeing it in person, and trying it out. It should be arriving any time!

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Hmmmm…. Archery…. You might be able to find a few archery pictures in the archives! 😉 (Though it is only a once a year event for my kids!) lol

  16. Kathy

    Hi Jessica. Great work on the treadmill!! I hope You are able to continue. I started a couch to 5k program last summer with my oldest daughter and I did ok. It was a little discouraging when 70 year old women were walking faster than I could run…but I got over it and just did the best I could. I'm expecting my eighth baby very soon and I hope to get back out walk/running when the time is right. God bless and happy waking!!

  17. Jacqui

    thanks Jessica!


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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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