{pretty, happy, funny, real}

by | May 24, 2013 | {phfr}, Pentecost | 16 comments

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~

My pretty necklace from Jesse Tree Treasures!  Thank you Angie! 🙂 


Incorporating fun foods, like our Pentecost Cake, in our celebrations of the liturgical year always makes my children happy!  This year’s cake was made quickly with a boxed cake mix and store bought whipped frosting, which I picked up on our way home from Mass along with a box of organic strawberries.  I just used candles that I already had at home, which ended up being all red this year.   Of course I like to make it pretty, but they just love blowing out all the candles and celebrating the birthday of the Church with cake
An anonymous commenter pointed out that I was missing a candle… Next year I think we might add an extra candle (in a different color, so it is not confused with the 12 candles for the apostles) for the Blessed Mother, like Charlotte did on her beautiful cake for her family, or perhaps tie a pretty marian blue ribbon around the platter.  Of course, it is fun to include all the symbolism, but not at all necessary like all the other extra family activities and recipes for the saints and liturgical year… Our real celebration is attending Mass!  How blessed we are to have our faith and the sacraments! 

Okay, it’s not really funny, but I couldn’t believe it when Captain was working on Lesson 115 of Teaching Textbooks 6 (the first introduction to missing numbers) and I noticed that I was teaching the girls the same concept (missing addends) in their very first lesson of Saxon 5/4 for 4th grade.  These were some of the problems/concepts that my boys had no idea how to answer when it came to their tests.  So far Saxon is going well for all of the older children and I think the switch is going to be just what we need!   I really appreciated all the feedback from everyone on my School Year in Review post last week.  Thank you! 

It has been a challenging week in our home, which explains why it has been so quiet here on the blog.  (I have tried to keep up with some of the questions/comments, but I just haven’t had the time to respond to all of them, or even begin to try and get to emails.)  On Tuesday Bud (who still sleeps with his eyes somewhat open sometimes) had a mild concussion after a fall which required a trip to see his pedatrician (I’m really starting to dislike these “practical” tile floors of ours!) and Chiquita is fighting a bad case of Poison Oak which has spread from her arms, back, and neck to her face…  I’ve been on a detox diet the past couple days, and our evenings have been spent working on building new raised beds for the garden.  Yep, just a little busy…  I’m so ready for the weekend! 
Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.


  1. Anonymous

    Poor Bud! And Chiquita, too…I was covered in poison ivy twice as a child, to the point where my eyes were swollen shut. One of those times, I looked so bad, that when I went to the pediatrician, I went through a different door to a different waiting area, so as not to scare the other kids. I'll pray for them, and their Mom, too! –Danielle

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you Danielle! I very much appreciate the extra prayers! Thankfully it hasn't affected her eyes yet and I'm just praying it doesn't get much worse. My mom and brother have both had their faces/eyes swell shut from it before too. I have had it really bad myself, but couldn't imagine that! 🙁

  3. Erin

    I would love to hear about the diet/detox book and how it works out for you!! I am hoping to start something soon to shed 30-40 lbs of pregnancy weight that I haven't dropped!!

    Glad Bud's concussion was only a mild one! Poor baby. And poor Chiquita with poison oak… I have a brother who seems to be allergic to it, and his face would swell terribly – looks so uncomfortable!

  4. 9peasMom

    I hope Bud feels better soon! I am so sorry about Chiquita with the poison oak, I have to have steroids when I catch it and I'm miserable until it passes, I'll be praying for her!

  5. Karen

    Praying for Bud and Chiquita. Concussions aren't fun at all. My husband has been recovering from one for nearly three weeks and he's still having issues.

  6. Unknown

    The cake looks yummy, but I really just want to know how you took the picture. 😛 The lighting is perfect! Dark background, perfect white balance, sharp as heck. Can I get the exif data on that first cake pic? _

  7. Anonymous

    Hi Jessica, Hang in there. I am glad it is the weekend for you too. Praying all will be well. Maureen

  8. Krista

    Prayers for your kids and whole family!

    "Funny" – in my daughter's 1st grade and I see in her 2nd grade math book they start missing addends, too! WOW on TT not even covering them until 6th grade?!?!?!? I do believe that Saxon will be a better fit for your family (we're switching to Saxon, too!).

    And I'll be interested to hear how you like the parent course on "Teaching the Classics"! I was looking at it yesterday and will get it as well! I've been wanting to find something to teach literature to my soon-to-be 2nd grader now that she is getting to the age where "reporting" should more formally begin. The Socratic Method is truly classic (no pun intended) and it really does serve in all subjects (and in life!). My background is Philosophy (and have taught it formally) so it is something that comes quite naturally for me and it WILL get the student to think critically and teach them "how to think" as opposed to "told what to think". I'm of the mind that writing, debate and oral speech is a much better indicator of one's ability to "take in" the information and actually learn it rather than to merely "objective test". While memorization IS important, the art of critically thinking about a given subject/topic "gets in there" in a much different way and to a deeper level. People often think that philosophy is a "dead subject" (I often got the "what are you going to do with THAT degree?" in college). It is anything BUT DEAD! It teaches one to THINK, think well, think systematically, think deeply and think critically. ALL vital and important skills for life!

    Best wishes for success with this program!!!!

  9. melody

    I just want to say that I received my pendant, too, and I really love it. Thanks again!

  10. Jacqui

    Praying that your little ones feel better soon. And that you all get a restful weekend, we need it here too =)

  11. RealMom4Life

    I've been a lurker now for a few weeks after someone tipped me off to this blog. I've been enjoying it.

    I have to say, I was overseeing my 5th grader doing his teaching textbooks lesson as well as my 3rd grader using Math-U-See 4th grade. They were learning basically the same thing. I'm quite frustrated. I want them both to continue over the summer but now I am considering combining the two kids together and using their combined books as a guide. And, I feel terrible that I recommended Teaching Textbooks to so many people. One good thing though….one of my kids used Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra and went seamlessly into Saxon Algebra and earned an A. He had a few small things come up that he hadn't seen, but they were quite minor.

  12. Jennifer Elia

    Poor little, Bud and Chiquita. Enjoy your weekend. You have earned it.

    All I can say about Poison Oak, although I've only had severe poison ivy, is lots of aloe and oatmeal baths. Hope it clears up soon.

  13. Jessica Gordon

    And not until the very last couple weeks of 6th grade! I am sure Saxon is going to be a better fit for us. We've started already and it is going great!

    I am very excited about "Teaching the Classics" – and loved your comment! I completely agree! 🙂

    Thank you (and everyone else!) for the prayers!

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Yay! So glad to hear that it arrived safely and that you love it! 🙂

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    I too have recommended Teaching Textbooks to so many… I still think for some it might be a great program – I really do think it helped get me through a few challenging years, with lots of little ones. We might have been even further behind with a different program… 🙂 I'm glad to hear that about your older son! I am really hoping that we don't run into too many complications with the switch.

  16. Jessica Gordon

    Hahaha! Well, I sat the cake on the hall tree next to the front door, opened the door to let in a little of the remaining early evening sunlight, set the camera to my "no flash" setting and snapped the picture!

    I loved how it turned out too!! 🙂 Someday I will spend some time practicing using the manual settings, but for today I am excited to just be able to figure out where to find that data you want! 😉

    According to my computer the EXIF Data for the first picture is:
    Exposure 1/40 at f/5.6
    Focal Length 135 mm
    ISO 3200


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Prayer of Mothers

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-18, 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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