A Summer Daybook on the Last Day of June

by | Jun 30, 2014 | Daybook, Sacred Heart, Summer | 16 comments

Outside my window…
an ultraviolet water filtration system is being installed in our nearly completed new well house! We have been purchasing bottled spring water for a couple months now, which has been getting expensive for our large family, after discovering bacteria in our water. It’s been quite a process – first the patio/foundation had to be poured, then a new, full-size well house had to be built (the contractor will finish it after he returns from vacation), and now we finally have the room that was needed to install the filter.  I’m really looking forward to having unlimited drinking water again!

I am thinking…
our water issues might have had something to do with our oldest son’s health challenges. He has been symptom free for over four months now!

I am thankful… 
for all the prayers that have been sent our way as I continue to recover and heal from my recent miscarriage. Last week was definitely harder than the first, perhaps since I had been keeping myself so busy up until then? Anyways, I posted on Instagram the other day that I was struggling with depression (with anxiety/panic attacks/chest pain – I’ve struggled with this in the past following a couple of my other pregnancies) and I can feel the extra strength and graces from all the prayers.  Thank you all!  (And that beautiful three mile walk really helped me feel better too!)

Rather than ride home with Sean and the kids from our annual hometown parade, I decided to walk home. It is such a beautiful day! #needexercise #fightingdepressionaftermiscarriage #prayersplease

Learning all the time…

So far this summer we’ve completed two weeks of daily swimming lessons, a camping trip, a week of golf camp, and a week at Quo Vadis Days for the two older boys. It’s been lots of fun but I’m looking forward to some time home this week! 😉

Celebrating the liturgical year…
Our liturgical year celebrations have been simple lately, focusing on prayer and daily saint stories during dinner, but we did bake a heart shaped Applesauce Spice Cake for the Solemnity Feast of the Sacred Heart last Friday.

The girls helped decorate the cake with strawberries and pretzel sticks. 

From the kitchen… 
Chicken and Vegetables with a Coconut Milk and Red Curry sauce inspired by my friend Cassandra, who just announced that she is expecting!  SO yummy! I’m working on eating extra healthy again and focusing on a paleo diet while I try and lose some of the extra weight which has crept back over the last year.  I had a headache for three days (sugar withdrawal?) but it’s finally gone. 🙂

I am working on… 
It’s time to update the book basket with saint books for July.  I’ll try and compile our list soon to share with you all! (And perhaps finally complete the post with our June books too…)

I am creating…
plans for next school year and lists of books that need to be ordered.  I had been so motivated to finish my plans and get an early start, until our miscarriage… I’d still like to get a jump start on the school year, since we’d like to take a family trip after fire season for our 15th Anniversary in October.  I should probably get back to those plans!

I am going…
to start the Saints Joachim & Anne Faith Folder with a couple of the children in preparation for their feast on July 26th!

I am hoping…
that we can figure out a way to take the children to the summer camps (one for the older boys and another for the older girls) organized by one of their uncles for his parish… We waited too long to make reservations at a campsite and I haven’t had any luck finding somewhere affordable for us to stay. At the very least we are hoping that Sean can take the two older boys this year!

I am praying…
for Max. Karla’s family has suffered so much with the loss of their 10 year old son Sanjay a few years ago, and now Max is in need of prayers. Karla recently sent me an email asking me to share her prayer request with you all.  She and her husband recently found out that their son Max has kidney disease and barring a miracle he will need a kidney transplant soon. She said that he is already down to 15% function. Please keep their family in your prayers!

We are also praying for the soul of a dear friend, Gary Francis, who passed away early Sunday morning. We will be attending his funeral later this week.  +May he rest in peace+

I am reading…
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Jesus’ Love for Us from the sweet Gloria Series collection.  I’ve had this book stashed away in my closet, along with the other books in the series, to give the little ones next Christmas or Easter, but I pulled it out to read to my little ones last Friday afternoon on the Solemnity Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

They are small and inexpensive hardcover books and you can find them at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts (search Gloria Series for the whole collection).  The 5″x6″ books are perfect for little hands! 
Rose always loves to “reread” books after we finish, over and over, examining all the pictures more closely.  These precious books are filled with beautiful artwork form the Library of Fratelli Bonella in Italy!
Oops, she caught me taking pictures! 🙂 

Pondering these words…
from St. Therese’s poem My Joy:

“My joy is to love suffering. I smile shedding tears. 
I accept with gratitude the thorns mixed with the flowers.”

I am listening… 
to the girls working together in the kitchen. It sounds like they are trying to find the pumpkin pie spice. They are baking Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for an afternoon snack.  I love all the giggles!

Around the house…
everything seems to be damaged or breaking lately.  Sometime this afternoon our plumber will be coming over to figure out why both of the Master Bathroom sinks started leaking (soaking everything!) on Saturday, and a new coffee pot just moved to the top of my shopping list.

One of my favorite things…  
new books!  A couple books just arrived that I had pre-ordered awhile ago: Karol, The Boy Who Became Pope: A Story about Saint John Paul II published by Neumann Press (and also available directly from TAN) and Thérèse of Lisieux: Little Flower of Love published by Liguori.

This week’s plans…
Enjoy Summer and Celebrate the 4th of July!  You can find some 4th of July ideas and recipes in the archives: 

A little peek at some of my Instagram Feed last week…


  1. Monday – The boys left for summer camp early this morning… I miss them already!
  2. Tuesday – Fun at the park following five back-to-back cleanings and exams at the Dentist’s office. Next up: naps for everyone!
  3. Thursday – Home from Quo Vadis Days! (Ranger was blessed to be able to serve Mass, along with four other boys, for our Archbishop on the last day of camp!!!)  
  4. Friday – 10:00 AM the day after camp… Do I let them keep sleeping, or wake them up to eat their breakfast (which has been in the warming drawer for the past hour)  (I let them sleep. And you can see their triple bunk bed here.) 
  5. Friday – A Strawberry Rose for my little “Rose” (Inspired by Prim aka Elizabeth Star.) 
  6. Friday – Left my iPhone on the couch for a minute and came back to find this picture. Yep, I’m sure they intended to include Jesus’ Sacred Heart in honor of today’s Solemnity Feast!


  1. Christine

    Jessica, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope we do see you at the camp this year. May God bless you and your family!

    2014-06-30 22:56:28

  2. jbc2789

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

    2014-06-30 23:46:52

  3. Christine M.

    You will be in my continued prayers for a full recovery. Please keep me in your prayers as well. I am currently 14 weeks with our seventh child. Out of the past four pregnancies, two have been miscarriages and two ended early but healthy (Deo gratias) due to preeclampsia. My blood pressures are staying down this time so far, although I am taking BP medicine already. Our family is imploring heaven to keep the preeclampsia away and help this be a healthy pregnancy for all. I would really appreciate your family's prayers for mine. God bless you always!

    2014-07-01 00:55:44

  4. Melanie

    When I read your first paragraph I wondered if the bacteria might have something to do with your son's issues too. I'm so glad to hear that he seems to be improving!

    2014-07-01 01:50:58

  5. Jennifer

    Glad to hear Captain is doing better. He has been in my prayers for a long time, but he was on my mind a lot this week as my older two came down with a stomach virus. Thankfully it was swift moving. Sending you many prayers, love, and long distance hugs. Take care of yourself.

    2014-07-01 02:25:46

  6. Karla in MN

    So glad that Captain has been doing better…praying that with your new filter the problems will be completely resolved! Thank you so much for mentioning prayers for Max and our family…we really appreciate the spiritual support. God Bless!

    2014-07-01 02:31:08

  7. guest

    Please consider talking with Dr. Hilgers at the pope Paul VI institute in Omaha. He is a valuable resource in dealing with women's health issues and works with folks from around the world. I truly think he will help with the hormone crash your body just went through and get you feeling your best. So sorry you have been feeling rotten. I can relate and my heart goes out to you. Thank you Jesus for the gee of news regarding Captain's health!!!

    2014-07-01 03:14:49

  8. Amy Caroline

    Our coffee pot broke too! We bought a Keurig (or however you spell it) and I am in love with it.

    2014-07-01 03:28:39

  9. Krista

    Can I put in my order for an Applesauce Spice Cake and a dozen of the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins??!??!?!?!!?!?!???? 🙂 SOOOO GLAD to hear that Captain is still doing better!!! I think I remember you mentioning something way back about the well water as a possible source of his trouble, but questioned why the rest of you weren't sick seeing you all drank the same water. Perhaps he has a certain sensitivity to it that his body can't fight off????? Will be interested to see what your curriculum choices are for this coming school year!!!! I'm always interested to see what other families use! Blessings on your continued recovery and health. I understand those post-miscarriage symptoms you speak about… It never really quite "goes away"… And living in an "abortion friendly" country doesn't help society's understanding of pre-born loss. Hang in there. The internal emotional struggles and challenges that one faces after miscarriage or stillbirth is no easy experience. I think the only thing we can do is to trust – and that's not an easy thing to do when we want to be our own "masters", ya know? And sometimes we only have so much strength to get through the day or week or "season" of life. It's hard – we need to allow ourselves that time to heal all over, despite that empty feeling, both physically and emotionally and we need to allow ourselves to feel that emptiness – so that it CAN heal. One never forgets, but one can "live again" in this "new reality" that now is. God be with you and all the mothers that have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth or any form of pre-born death. We've got those "Gloria Series" books! They're fab! Great little vintage books and lovely artwork! So, what time is dinner again?????????? 😉 I'll bring some of our world famous maple syrup for you all! 🙂 Blessings!

    2014-07-01 03:38:49

  10. snowbabies

    I've kept you in my prayers. Call me if you want me to share how I battled depression after Matthew passed away. Our oldest son is at Quo Vadis this week! WHat a blessing for our boys!

    2014-07-01 10:39:28

  11. scmom4

    Prayers for you. I feel your pain, quite literally — anxiety, breathlessness, heart pounding. I think it is from weaning off a nerve pain drug, but then again, I don't know for sure. Anxiety surely does cause pain doesn't it? I wish I could learn to embrace it as St. Therese did, but I think it might take me a lifetime to do so. Your little Rose is just so cute. What a dolly. I love that she re"reads" the books. Maybe she will be an artist one day.

    2014-07-01 13:09:57

  12. scmom4

    PS I highly recommend a Chemex coffee maker. I think I wrote about it on my blog. There is nothing to break because you pour boiling water through the filter. Of course, it can't be programmed to make the coffee while you're sleeping, but there are no plastic parts either. The coffee tastes great, too.

    2014-07-01 13:13:12

  13. Ellie

    Continuing to hold you in my prayers dear Jessica. {{hugs}}

    2014-07-01 14:44:54

  14. gracekellysmom

    Thank you for sharing about your recent loss. My prayers will be with you! I have lost several babies to miscarriage, early and late. The anxiety, panic attacks, and depression you mentioned is all too familiar. I am praying specifically for you that the darkness leaves and the sun shines again, those hormones are so hard. May Mother Mary hold you close and ease your fears. Be kind to yourself as your body heals physically as well. God bless you!

    2014-07-05 22:44:40

  15. Beth

    Jessica- I had been searching the internet for a recipe to take to a 4th of July party. Finally, I thought to myself that your blog might just have some ideas that I could use. I adapted your brownie tort recipe and topped it with cherries and chocolate fudge frosting– it was a huge hit! Hope you had a lovely holiday!

    2014-07-06 19:47:06

  16. Lindsey

    Dear Jessica, I have been following your blog for a number of years but this is the first time I have posted. I have nine children ages 16 yrs-10 mos. I have been married for 17 years to my high school sweet heart and best friend. I moved to Illinois 9 years ago and have been homeschooling since. We left a Catholic school. I have found many demons in the closets with leaving a school to homeschool. Your blog has been at my side guiding me. I wanted you to know how much you have influenced my life with your blogs on organizing, liturgical year feasts and homeschooling ideas. Thank YOU! You have been in my thoughts through your miscarriage. I have had two myself. No matter how many it is never easy. Have faith and take heart and joy with how much you have helped me over the years without even knowing. I have a facebook page "Medlar Meadows" that shows a little peek of our life on our goat farm. Your children may enjoy that. God bless!

    2014-07-07 11:40:09


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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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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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