My Daybook :: January 10, 2013

by | Jan 10, 2013 | Christmas 2012, Daybook | 31 comments

Our 2012 Christ Candle on Christmas Day

Outside my window… 
the ground is covered with snow and my awesome little brother was outside early this morning, changing the master bedroom outlet breaker for me – the one that would trip nearly every time I turned on the treadmill for the past year, requiring a trip outside usually in the dark. I’m so excited that it is fixed!

I am thinking…        
about how much I miss having Sean home.   Why does it always get so crazy around here when he is gone?   Thankfully we are nearly through the first week, of three… Is it really Thursday already?

I am thankful… 
that I didn’t need stitches last night, after cutting my thumb.  Ouch!  I need to slow down a little bit…  I knocked over that pretty soap bottle while washing the dishes and stuck my thumb right into a sharp piece of glass when putting more of the broken pieces into the trash can.   I didn’t need stitches, just a Steri-Strip and a Tetanus shot late last night. Now I just need to keep it clean and dry for the next four days…

Learning all the time 
This week didn’t get off to a very good start, but that’s always the case after a break, right?  We have gotten through the essentials, but I am really hoping we can get back to The Alphabet Path (letter D), Science (I’ve been nervous ever since the Tooth incident), and finishing up our Civil War Unit Study these next couple weeks.   Thankfully everyone is right on schedule with Math, Language Arts, and Latin.

Celebrating the liturgical year 
I spent some time pulling out some of our saint books for January and updating the sidebar.  I’m hoping to get back to organizing all of our books and categorizing them sometime soon. (I started last fall and never finished.)  Other than another Tea on the Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia and incorporating something in honor of St. Agnes, I don’t have many plans for the rest of the month.

From the kitchen… 
Thirteen different flavors of jam!  I had been collecting them for awhile with the intention of making an Epiphany Tart.  After spending so much time in the kitchen on Saturday, preparing our Twelve Days of Christmas Dinner Party, followed by an early morning driving Sean to the airport, I was just too tired.   At least we are stocked up on jam for awhile!   And maybe we will still make it eventually… We’ll see.

I am working on… 
potty-training Rose.  It’s (past) time!  Monday I woke up to a couple sick children and after uncountable dirty-diapers (Bud) I gave Rose a bath and decided not to put another diaper on her.  Unlike in the past, I thought she was finally ready!  We haven’t had any daytime accidents, and just one accident last night (which is probably because I wasn’t home to put her to bed).  She is doing great!

I am creating… 
a new budget.  I knew the Dental Insurance we signed up for was going to start coming out of my husband’s paychecks this month, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much (tax increase too?) his paycheck dropped… I usually preschedule bill payments and I ended up having to raid all the kids piggy banks and make a late night trip to the ATM on payday this week.  Thankfully it all worked out, and I didn’t bounce anything, but it was way too close. Whew!

I am going… 
to try and continue catching up on emails!  I finally have it down to “only 100” emails sitting in my inbox from the last year waiting for a response… That’s progress!  ðŸ˜‰

I am hoping… 
that the scale starts going down a little bit. I’ve been walking/jogging every day this year and it still hasn’t budged… I keep telling myself that I am gaining muscle and the scale will start coming down eventually.  Still, it has been discouraging.

I am praying… 
that next week isn’t nearly as “eventful” as this week has been!

I am reading… 
excellent posts on discipline over at Like Mother, Like Daughter.   I’m often asked “How do you do it all?” It is a difficult question for me to answer (My first thought is “I just do… and I don’t get to everything that I’d like to!”), but I think it all comes down to well behaved and obedient children, in addition to thinking and planning ahead.   We have required and trained our children to be obedient since they were babies.  They are still children and get into arguments with each other and have to be reminded to do their chores frequently, and it is always a work in progress, but they are great kids.  A couple Sundays ago I had to take the baby out of Mass and Hubby had to also leave for a few minutes – the remaining six children sat in the pew and paid attention to Mass.  The usher came up to me in the back and said “My kids would never have done what your kids are in there doing, if my wife and I had left them there by themselves! I’ve never seen anything like it.”  I was a very proud momma at that moment!  ðŸ™‚

Here is a great post to start: Six-to-eleven year olds need less patience from you.  Then maybe move on to The Reasonably Clean Kitchen starts with rules for the kids.

Pondering these words…
from Auntie Leila’s post on Destruction-proofing your family:

“And they don’t realize how necessary forming habits in their children is to future happiness. They let them grow willy-nilly, pacifying rather than disciplining, leaving family culture to the four winds and then wondering why things are so unpleasant. “Later, when we’re older, we’ll think about how we want our family to be.””

I am listening…  
We are still listening to The Lord of the Rings, and we are now on the second part of The Two Towers.

On Sunday afternoon Rascal started building his new Helm’s Deep lego set.  He had it finished by dinnertime!

It’s been fun to see all their new creations, incorporating some of their old sets as well.

Around the house… 
there are still signs of the Christmas season, even though we took down our tree this last weekend.  We will leave our Nativity out until Candlemas.

One of my favorite things…  
The short little phone calls from my husband, even though he hasn’t been able to talk for more than 10 minutes each day.  They keep him BUSY on these trainings!

This week’s plans…

Survive!  ðŸ˜‰

A little peek at my day…
It started snowing again!


  1. Kerry

    Jessica, I do so admire your way with kids. I am a new Catholic and my kids are mostly grown (29, 21 and 13) but I wish often when reading your blog that I could have raised them the way you are raising yours–with sound liturgical teaching, a good Catholic education, and proper discipline. I started having kids young (19)and was not raised with a strong and loving home situation myself, so I made many mistakes along the road. Then too, some kids can be tougher to handle than others, and my last child has been a real struggle–he has Asperger's syndrome, ADHD and Oppositional-Defiant disorder. I'm not sure if I even believe there is such a thing as that last one–sounds just like a kid who got away with bossing around his elders too much and now thinks it's ok, to me–but that's what they say.

    Anyhow, I will continue to read and learn and be inspired by, your wonderful blog! Thanks!


    Enjoy your website…I very well remember when my husband traveled for 2-3 weeks at a time and managing the home 24/7 with kids. The first week is always the hardest, especially after all the celebrating!

  3. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Kerry! You are very right, some kids can be much tougher to handle than others. And special needs are definitely the most challenging! Our oldest had/has Auditory Processing Challenges and was so incredibly difficult when he was younger. It took many years and special tutors to work through the challenges. School is still a struggle for him, and probably always will be. Thankfully he is a hard worker and tries his best. I'm familiar with both Asperger's and ADHD but not the last. I am sure God will send you the graces that you need to do your best despite the challenges. God bless you and your family!

  4. Nicole Bradica

    Keeping you in prayer these next few weeks!! May God shower down His choicest blessings on you for all the graces you need:) God Bless!

  5. Marie

    "I think it all comes down to well behaved and obedient children, in addition to thinking and planning ahead."

    It also takes lots of HARD WORK and sacrifice. Your kids are blessed!

    Praying for you while your husband is away!

  6. Anonymous

    Great Daybook Jessica, my husband has spent the better part of this past year out of state because of work. He left on Sunday and we will see him again the first of March – it is hard, I now and I'll be praying for you.

  7. Jessica Gordon

    MARCH?! Oh, wow! That would be so very hard. I'll be praying for you too!

  8. Anne McD

    Oh, Jessica, I don't know how you do it for three weeks at a time! Every few months my husband goes cross country for five days at a time, and usually by Friday I'm pulling my hair out. Prayers for a busy (in a good way!) two weeks! 🙂

  9. Krista

    Hurray for snow!!!! We're in the midst of a bit of a warm spell – through the weekend they say. Our snow is melting…. 🙁 We had about 2 ft since Christmas, so we still have it on the ground, but hoping for more next week!

    Hope the kids can stay healthy for you, too! And I can't even get my 7 yr old to behave at Mass….. She was actually good until age 3 – then it "started"! LOL! But like Kerry said above, some kids are more of a challenge than others for their own unique reasons… All we can do as moms is to try our best and trust in God that everything will turn out ok in the the end…

  10. Jessica Gordon

    We've had more snow days this year than usual, and we've really been enjoying it. It has all been really wet snow and melts pretty quickly, much to the disappointment of the kids! 🙂

  11. Lena

    Praise God for His grace to sustain you during this time of trial.

    Thank you for the link to LMLD posts on disciplining. Things always unravel for me around pregnancies. Also, being consistent has been a challenge for me due to my chronic aliments. I pray for His grace, perseverance, and intercession of the lil's guardian angels. 🙂

    Take care and enjoy the journey – ALL FOR!

  12. Jessica Gordon

    I've noticed the same thing, it's always harder to be consistent during pregnancies (especially when there are extra challenges or sickness with the pregnancy) and even after the birth as everyone adjusts to the new baby and new routines. And, for me, it always tends to unravel (at least with all the little ones – my big kids have been an incredible help this past week) when Sean's out of town since it is so much harder to stick to a good schedule… which is why I am reading some of Leila's posts!

  13. Cheryl

    About behaving at Mass: I'm convinced its because you bring them to Mass regularly and model appropriate behavior! (So pat yourself on the back — I'm sure it isn't always easy getting them all to Mass.) I've taught catechism classes for eight years and when we have "Mass" days (we go to Mass instead of having class), it is always obvious which kids go to Mass regularly. They are the ones who I don't have to show how to make the Sign of the Cross or genuflect, they are the ones who I don't have to tell "take the gum out of your mouth" or to pay especially close attention during the consecration. I wish more parents would realize how important it is to regularly bring their family to Mass — not just because we're obligated to attend Mass on Saturday, but because Jesus desires their presence!

  14. Jacqui

    I'm glad you didn't need stitches! we'll keep you in our prayers! It was our first week back too and didn't go as planned =( But you're right, that's always the case after a break 😉

  15. Shauna

    Hi Jessia, I understand your frustration with weight loss. I jogged almost everyday in the Fall while pushing a double stroller. I felt great but didn't lose any weight.
    Because this is the first time in 10 years that I am not pregnant or nursing I decided to try the Master Cleanse. I started Jan. 1st and I am finishing my last day tonight. I have lost 12 pounds so far. If you are still nursing maybe you could try drinking the lemonade drink during the day and then have your normal dinner. This is what I am planning to do after the cleanse. It is also called intermittent fasting. Anyway, I just wanted to share that the Master Cleanse really worked for me and I feel super healthy and thinner 🙂 God Bless you!

  16. Amy

    Jessica–I am new to your blog and want you to know how many wonderful ideas you have provided me with in creating my "domestic church". After reading the above post, my only advice is to go easy on yourself over the next few weeks–as someone who is quite familiar with a husband that travels for work, I have learned to take more of a "Mary" approach to running the house while he is away. My personality is such that I am a "Martha" most of the time. . .having the "Mary" approach seems to make a more calm/sane atmosphere while he is gone.

    As far as the weight loss goes, "keep on keepin' on". You are doing better than me! I had my fourth child almost two years ago and I still "can't find the time to exercise". Ha! At least you are trying. Actually, come to think of it, you have now made me feel guilty that I have a perfectly good treadmill sitting in our garage!

    Oh, and you are also potty training while he is gone? Be proud. . .be very very proud of yourself.

  17. Anonymous

    About the tetanus shot..a relative who is a maternity ward nurse said NEVER get a tetanus shot while pregnant. In the Phillipines, its used as an abortion.

  18. Krista

    The West is getting a BIG SNOW I see! Sounds like you guys are missing THAT ONE, though… 🙁 I love all the seasons and what they bring – it's the joy of living in my beautiful state of VT!

  19. Anonymous

    I have never been able to successfully potty train before 2 1/2. Sigh. Looking forward to getting Miss Sweet Pea trained. She should be easier than Bear though!

    The snow is gorgeous! It was all wet and slimy down here in the valley. Sigh.

  20. Jessica Gordon

    I have never heard that before. We don't do many vaccines, but Tetanus is a problem in our area, and in the soil, so once the kids are old enough to get just the tetanus shot we have it given to them. I've always avoided vaccines for myself since I am allergic to so many medications already and prefer not to take the risk. This was a pretty deep cut though and the doctors highly recommended it. I did ask about pregnant/nursing before hand (though I am not pregnant that I know of) and they said that wasn't a problem. Perhaps the vaccines are different in the Philippines. If that is the case, that is very sad.

  21. Kathleen

    You are such an inspiration, Jessica! Thank you for sharing your day with us. The links for disciplining are just what I needed today. My children are only 3, 2, and 7 months and already I feel we have a lot to learn in this category. Please know you and your family are in our prayers as your hubby travels.

  22. Julie

    Jessica, that is not true, so don't worry. We don't do all vaccines either, but stand-alone tetanus is not a live vaccine and it is not contra-indicated during pregnancy (though other vaccines are like flu mist, oral polio, varicella, live MMR). In fact, since tetanus is usually fatal in newborns, and immunity is passed from the pregnant mom to the baby, it is recommended if the pregant mom is at risk of tetanus. Maybe in the Phillipines, they have a live version or give some sort of heavy dose or something. But you shouldn't worry! Feel better soon!

  23. Jodi Reel

    I liked the quote about purposefully raising your children. I often get people complimenting me on how well behaved my kids are, and then adding 'it must be because you are a patient person". Ha! My response is "No, they are well behaved because I am NOT a patient person…when it comes to disciplinary issues, anyway!"
    Thanks for being such an inspiration for me and helping me to live the liturgical year!

  24. fairytalesandflowers

    Yesterday, my daughter and I met a religious sister in the supermarket (she was collecting for the poor) and my wee girl wanted to go over and see her. She was telling Sister about the craft we had done (very simple craft) to celebrate this month's devotion. The Sister said to me that she thought I was training my daughter well and if everyone had to do the same then the world would be a better place. I literally skipped out of the shop. Very prod of my 4 year old.

  25. fairytalesandflowers

    Yes absolutely no problems with tetanus. I am a nurse practitioner in Scotland and we prescribe it as needed if the woman is pregnant or nursing.

  26. Anonymous

    Happy New Year Jessica!

    Thank you for sharing the links to the discipline posts. If you ever feel inspired and have time, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about how to intentionally train and expect kids to be obedient from baby stage up! I wish I had thought that through better when my kids were younger (they are 12, 10, 5, and 2). They are generally well behaved and good boys, but I think I am probably too patient, and, as the article points out, that is not always a good thing for obedience! Anyway, if you ever want to share your favorite methods, I would be all ears! Thanks for everything!
    God bless,

  27. Katie V.

    Also Jessica, I was wondering if your children watch much television? …or movies? It seems this can affect behavior too?.

  28. Katie V.

    Also Jessica, I was wondering if your children watch much television? …or movies? It seems this can affect behavior too?.

  29. Anonymous

    When people say they don't know how you do it all, they really do mean it. It's the $64 million question! Here I am most of the time trying to keep my head above water, as in keeping from getting buried in laundry, dishes, toys, books, etc.-the basics! That is why I am always looking for practical advice, because if I have too much on my plate I feel paralyzed, and if I try to tackle it, I can't-I either spin my wheels or get burned out.

    I think the most frustrating is the constant-ness of the housework, and trying to achieve a reasonable stride/pace myself. Unfortunately, spot cleaning doesn't translate to a clean house. That takes heavy duty cleaning/elbow grease, and a big dose of courage.

    I wish there was some way to really and truly de-clutter, since it seems key: I expend so much time and energy trying to straighten up the mess, when I need to be out from under it to be free and see results. Easier said than done, right?

  30. Jessica Gordon

    We do have a TV, but we have never had any access to TV reception. We do have a collection of movies that we let the children watch, and currently have Netflix Watch Instantly, but we are very selective. And we also limit the amount of time that we let them watch videos. Unless the weather is bad I usually send them outside to play during their free time, or they also really enjoy listening to audio books while they are playing inside.


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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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