My (Post-Trauma) Daybook :: October 23, 2012

by | Oct 23, 2012 | Daybook | 27 comments

Outside my window… 
it is COLD!  It went from summer to winter pretty much overnight here in our little corner of the country.  My kids are walking around the house this morning wrapped in blankets wearing scarves, hats, and mittens!

I am thinking…        
it could have been worse… it could have been worse! 😉

I am thankful… 
for all of your prayers, encouragement, advice, and support! May God reward you!

Learning all the time… 
We just re-read the story of St. Apollonia and the Martyrs of Alexandria, after Charlotte mentioned praying for her intercession on Facebook while we were on our way to the ER on Thursday night.   Reading about the early church martyrs really puts our own little challenges into perspective…

      In Alexandria, Egypt, during the reign of the Emperor Decius, there lived a holy virgin named Apollonia. 
     Apollonia had spent her whole life serving God.   Now that she was growing old, she did not take time to rest.   She bravely risked her life to comfort the Christians in prison when a persecution began. 
     “Remember that the suffering will not last long,” she would say. “But the joys of Heaven will last forever.”  
     At last, Apollonia, too, was captured.  When the judge asked her name, she courageously said, “I am a Christian and I love and serve the true God.” 
     Apollonia was made to suffer greatly because she would not give up her Faith.   First, all her teeth were smashed and then pulled out.  That is why we pray to St. Apollonia when we have a toothache. The saint was then told that if she did not deny Christ, she would be thrown into the fire.  
     Apollonia was not afraid.  She chose to die rather than sin.  
     When the pagans saw her heroic action, many of them were converted.  

The martyrs greatly desired to shed their blood for Christ.  And what do we do for Him?  Are we strong enough to stand a little suffering for His love?  

Celebrating the liturgical year… 
We watched the canonization of St. Kateri, and the other six new saints, this past Sunday on EWTN online!   It was beautiful!  Snuggles and I had made Indian Corn Cookies to celebrate.   I was going to make Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers too, but we ended up going with quick and easy pizza instead.

From the kitchen… 
goodies from Trader Joe’s!   Friday evening I went to town to do a little grocery shopping (and pick up that rug) with Twinkle Toes.   I heard that Trader Joe’s was finally opening last week, but had I known that Friday was their OPENING DAY I probably would have waited.  It was so packed!  It was fun though and we brought home quite a few goodies, making the super long line worth the effort!  Right now I am enjoying a hot cup of Joe with hazelnut creamer and some chocolate hazelnut biscotti.  Yum!

I am working on… 
plans for our All Hallows’ Eve party that we will be hosting next week!  Ay yi yi…

I am creating… 
Costumes… Costumes, costumes, costumes!  And here I had thought I was pretty much done with planning costumes for this year!  We were invited to a last minute “Oktoberfest/Costume Party” this past Saturday at Rascal’s godparents home.   We’ve actually never gone to a “non-saint” themed costume party, and the kids all thought it would be fun.   Costumes were required, for the adults too, and the kids all really enjoyed coming up with costumes.   Snuggles came up with a Peter Pan Costume with an old costume/shirt of my brothers, a belt, his green moccasin slippers, and some brown capri leggings from his sister!  Oh, and a “sword” made from green Duplo Blocks, which, apparently, are not Legos! All he asked was that I make him a hat…   Our events from Thursday and Friday didn’t leave much time for creating costume accessories, and Saturday morning I spent relaxing, baking cookies with my littlest ones, and blogging.  Just before we left for the party Snuggles asked about his hat.  Whoops!   It’s amazing what you can do with a large piece of craft foam, scissors, a stapler and a red feather! He was a very happy little boy Peter Pan!

I am going… 
to take the kids to our Parish Costume Party this coming Friday night.   After our late night out on Saturday the kids went to the late Mass on Sunday with Hubby.  I was still working on recovering from the panic attacks, so I went to an early Mass by myself and then came home to rest.   Anyhow, the kids came home talking all about the upcoming party at the Church.  I was excited to hear that they are encouraging Saint Costumes (you must be dressed as a saint to qualify for the costume contest) and the priests will even be dressing up!   Our pastor is going to be dressing as Blessed John Paul II and Fr. M is dressing as Fulton Sheen!   It should be fun.

I am hoping… 
to start my Christmas (and birthday – we now have two in December!) plans and shopping soon.  I’d like to have it all completed by the first Sunday of Advent, which falls on December 2nd this year.   With timing flying by as quick as it seems to be, that is going to be here in no time.

I am praying… 
for Rascal, and for Kelly.

I am (still) reading… 
and loving, We and Our Children: How to make a Catholic Home  (the new reproduction of the work originally published in 1954)… Here is my favorite quote from what I re-read this week from Chapter V on Security – Fear of Danger:

“Life will never be painless for our children, try as we might to spare them. We are foolish to think that we can. And it is wise not to waste time trying. We can bend every energy to giving a child the full measure of God, and in the end with His help they can learn to accept and bear, and one day find joy, in whatever assaults their sense of security will have to endure.”

Pondering these words…
spoken by St. Francis de Sales:

“Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, 
even if your whole world seems upset.”

I am listening…  
to The Horse and His Boy.  We own the 7 Volume Unabridged Audio Set of The Chronicles of Narnia and the boys started listening to it again last week.  I just love audio books and this is such a well done set!

Around the house… 
I am determined to find some new rugs for our tile floors.   A couple for my kitchen, and a new one for the entry/living room (the old one that we had in there fell apart).   I picked up the one I had considered at Costco over the weekend, and it is just a little too small for the kitchen.   Does anyone have any suggestions for me, on where to start looking?

One of my favorite things…  
my beautiful new bookmark, purchased from The Fig and Thimble.

This week’s plans…

  • Mom’s Night Out at a new restaurant I’ve been wanting to try! 
  • Lego Robotics Classes for the older boys
  • Tutor on Thursday
  • Saints Costume Party at our Church
  • Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
  • Hadley Hope Fundraiser Dinner
  • Carve Saint-O-Lanterns (and post a link-up at Catholic Cuisine!)
A little peek at my day…
The kids helped their Daddy stack firewood yesterday, since he took the day off work.   Even with the trees that he cut down, we still need to start looking for a couple cords of dry firewood for winter.  Everyone is ready for a fire in our wood stove!   


  1. Katie V.

    Happy to see you are doing better! What fun plans! I'm hoping to find a Lego robotics class here in Colombia- my boys are Lego fanatics! With prayers.

  2. CeAnne @ Sanctus Simplicitus

    Thank you for the quotes from the book you are reading and St. Francis, they are much needed!

    Was much changed in the reprint of We and Our Children? I have a similar one by the same author, The Year and Our Children. I'm always getting the two mixed up!

  3. Christine

    Your son continues to be in my prayers. I am happy that things sound like they are returning to normal.

  4. Jessica Gordon

    We and our Children: How to Make a Catholic Home is the reprint of the original version of the updated and revised book How to Raise Good Catholic Children.

    Here is a review from Amazon on the revised edition: "Sadly, this wonderful book was poorly edited in a misguided attempt to "update" the text. It is still a great reference, but I advise traditional Catholics to find the original text published by the same author under the title "We and Our Children". The traditional Latin Mass was explained in beautiful detail in the original version, but in this edition, most of the descriptions were eliminated to make it "modern" and match the new Mass from the 1970s. I hope the publisher will reproduce the original, unedited version for those who appreciate the traditional liturgy. I bought both books and one can vividly see how much of our Catholic heritage we have lost when one compares the two editions and sees how much was eliminated."

    The Year and Our Children is a completely different book, by the same author, and is also excellent.

  5. Anonymous

    Seeing those pictures of Rascal just broke my heart. I pray both you and he are healing from such a traumatic experience! My daughter has been planning to be St. Apollonia for All Saints Day, so she has been very much in our thoughts and prayers. We will ask her special intercession for Rascal now too.


  6. Kelly

    Thank you for your prayers, Jessica. And thank you for the recommendation on the audio book version of the Narnia series. We love audio books, too. I've added it to my amazon "wish list", but I wonder if Audible has it available. I have some credits with them that I've been saving up. 🙂

    You and Rascal both continue to be in our prayers. My husband has made it a point to pray for him as well. He has a soft spot for tooth injuries as his teeth were almost knocked out around the same age in a bike accident. His one front tooth is darker than the rest because of the injury and root canal that followed. I know this is easier said than done, but please don't beat yourself up over it. You are an awesome momma and sometimes these things cannot be avoided as much as we wish they could be. You're feelings are understandable, though. It comes from caring as much as you do. God bless you.

  7. Anonymous

    We will be praying to St. Appollonia for Rascal as well. What a heartbreaking story!! So, so sorry! I'm sure you don't want to do a Robin Hood hat tutorial, but could you give a quick idea of how you made it? Where do you buy that craft foam? A craft store, I suppose. I know a little someone the same age as Snuggles who would LOVE one!! BTW, my kids enjoy looking at your blog as much as I do. Oops, another question: what age did you let your children watch Peter Pan? Thank you, thank you! – Genevieve

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Hmmm… I'm not sure I could make the hat again if I tried! 😉 The craft foam was from Michael's (less than $1 for a large sheet, i think), as was the pack of "turkey quills" that I had in various colors, including the red. I wrapped the piece around his head, length wise, and then folded up the right side before stapling the seam together. I then folded up what I could on the left side, stapling the fold over in the front (on the inside so you can't see the staples) to hold it in place. I then trimmed the fold on the left with scissors, since it was too tall in the front. At this point I had a huge point on the top, so I shortened it by cutting some of the felt off, before just stapling the top seam together and then inserting the feather into the fold. It is far from perfect, but for less than $1.50 (including the feather) and on the spot, it worked great! It's held together too, and he has still been wearing it around the house this week. 🙂

    As for watching Peter Pan… We have the Disney version, and it is one of the old VHS's that I still have from when I was younger. We also have Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Robin Hood, and The Fox and the Hound and Bambi on VHS. We do limit the TV, but our kids have all seen these videos pretty young. Even Rose has watched it, and she dressed as Tinkerbell to go along with Snuggles costume.

  9. Anonymous

    Wow! Thanks, that was fast! I think I'll try it soon! Thanks for the input on movies. We got a lot of the CCC of America movies because of your recommendation. We don't have tv so I'm always on the lookout for good movies. We have a lot, but the kids (nearly age 6 and under) are getting tired of them. We have Cinderella and Robin Hood; I'll have to check out the others. Anyhow, I know this post isn't about good movies for small children, so I'll stop there. Hope Rascal heals very soon and that you feel better about it soon also! (Oh, a "sweet, innocent, not too modern" movie post/discussion would be good 😉 – Genevieve

  10. Mom2Seven

    I love your Daybooks, Jessica, and I appreciate the little glimpse into your lives. Wishing you a happy, peaceful remainder of the week! +JMJ+ P.S. I am definitely going to look into the audio books of Narnia. We have read the books many times over the years.

  11. Erika

    Oh we are about to begin The Horse and His Boy! My 5 yo just loves the Chronicles of Narnia (and how could she not?! I love it too!).

    Those Indian Corn Cookies are adorable. 🙂

  12. Jessica Gordon

    The books are available on Audible, but you do need to purchase each of the seven individually. I do like audible, but there is also something so nice about the beautifully boxed set sitting of the shelf! 🙂

    Please thank your husband for the extra prayers!

  13. Jessica Gordon

    LOL Yes, you happened to catch me online before heading to town, since my husband picked up the boys for me! 🙂 I figured if I didn't write back immediately I might not get back to it! I'm usually best at answering comments… Email is a different story. I'm working on it though!

    I'll have to think about a post on movies for little ones! I'd love some new suggestions myself!

  14. Jessica Gordon

    THANK YOU for sharing that link! That is exactly what I needed to get me started looking. I'm just having such a difficult time finding the right rugs around here. Home Decorating is not one of the gifts God gave me…

  15. Anonymous

    I'm glad I could help you in a tiny way! Your blog has been SO wonderful to me. You truly are an inspiration! On that note, I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions for parenting books. Your children always seem so happy and your home peaceful–I'm sure it doesn't feel that way to you, but I'd love to know any tips or suggestions to keeping everyone in order and happy like you seem to always be able to do (I don't know how you could get so much done if it was otherwise!)… and with your husband often traveling, no less! –Anon/Kelly

  16. Maggie

    Have any suggestions for modest movies? I wouldn't ever allow Tinkerbell in our house!!!

  17. Jessica Gordon

    I can assure you my daughter was dressed modestly.

  18. Sugar Pie

    Dear Jessica,
    I hope Rascal is feeling much better & heals well. Thankyou for sharing your lives & knowledge with us all, I have bought so many good books on your recommendation, I can't thankyou enough. I was wondering where you got the St. Agnes statue you have in one of the photos, she seems to be a very hard statue to find & I would love to find a beautiful statue of the the lovely gentle saint for a dear family friend.
    Take care & God Bless you & your family,

  19. Nancy Carabio Belanger

    Oh Jessica, I just now saw what happened to all of you! I felt so terrible as I read it. I do hope and pray that Rascal heals quickly! You are such a good mom.

  20. Jessica Gordon

    The St. Agnes statue was actually given to us from a dear woman at church. She told me that it was an antique reproduction that she had purchased from a local artist. Sorry I don't have a link to share with you!

  21. Unknown

    Do you have Tuesday Morning stores where you live? I just bought some beautiful wool rugs there and they were vey reasonably priced. I'm so sorry about your son's tooth. I have always worried that one of my 'daredevils' would have that happen but so far, so good.

  22. Anonymous

    So glad we got a mom night out, you needed it!!

  23. Anonymous

    I am so squeamish about medical problems and blood, I could not look at all the photos in the post about poor Rascal! If he'd been my kid, I'd probably have passed out, and the trip to the ER would have been for both of us. I hope he heals thoroughly, and can keep his tooth.

    But is it wrong that I laughed at Rose's reaction? "No drama for me, I'm going to bed-uh!" That is one tough little girl you have there, calm under pressure. Plus, she is adorable.


  24. Maggie

    I actually meant the movie with Tinkerbell in it. Maybe I'm old school but even the faries in the Alphabet Path don't come into our house either. I didn't mean an attack on your children at all!

  25. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, I misunderstood you, since the only mention of Tinkerbell had been that Rose dressed up as her.

    I totally respect your decision to not allow (fictional 😉 fairies) of any kind into your home. My husband would probably lean more in agreement with you on that… I remember being hesitant and discussing the alphabet path fairies with him before we began. Our girls do love to play dress up as make believe princesses and fairies in addition to dressing up as our real role models the saints and angels. And even though we have let them watch Peter Pan and others, there are many Disney movies that we have decided not to allow our children to watch (i.e. Little Mermaid, Mulan, Aladdin, etc).

    As for recommendations, the CCC movies (our favorites are The Day the Sun Danced, Nicholas, Bernadette, and some of the others) are favorites in our home, as Genevieve mentioned below. They are excellent and inspiring movies for children.

    Another favorite is God's Footprints: The Life of St. Josemaria Escriva.

    My older children really enjoy The Reluctant Saint and Miracle of Marcelino.

    And thank you for clarifying. I do get pretty defensive when it comes to my children. 🙂

  26. Collette

    So glad to hear you & Rascal are doing better!
    For rug shopping, I've always had good success at Target & HomeDepot – T especially seems to have nice quality rugs for reasonable prices (I have one from there, just inside my front entry & it has held up wonderfully for 6 yrs, now).


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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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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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