February Daybook on the Feast of St. Blaise

by | Feb 4, 2014 | Candlemas, Daybook, St. Valentine's Day | 27 comments

Roses are red, violets are blue, 
Angels in heaven know I love you.
– Old Song, excerpt from A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays
*Note: All links to Amazon are affiliate links.

Outside my window…
Yes, those were our children out there in the front yard wrapped in blankets early this morning, trying to stay warm while I searched the house trying to figure out what was burning…  The smoke was coming from a light fixture in the little boys’ room.

I am thinking…
It’s nice to have electricians in the family! My Dad and Mom were on an airplane headed to Hawaii this morning (My Dad rarely travels, but Mom talked him into going over to watch a golf tournament my brother will be competing in this week!) but my brother Brian returned my call and headed over to take a look at the wiring for me in exchange for some lunch. Even though it ended up being just the lightbulb (Whew!!!!)  I had him take down the fixture (wall sconce) anyways, since we need to rearrange the furniture to make room for a bunk bed for the boys.

I am thankful… 
for those the two new bookcases! I assembled them last week and filled them with some of the books from the little boys’ room, which was our old schoolroom.  We still seem to have more books than shelves, but I’m getting a little closer to finding homes and getting them all organized once again.

Learning all the time…

Saturday, while Sean was at work, we spent some time learning about Mary Cassatt and creating some artwork before heading outside to enjoy the sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.  I’ll post pictures of their completed art projects soon.

Celebrating the liturgical year…
St. Brigid, Candlemas, St. Blaise, and so many more wonderful saints and feasts to celebrate and read about this month!

From the kitchen… 
Candlemas Cookies with Drip Plates and Saint Blaise Sticks!

I am working on… 
plans for Rascal’s birthday this coming Friday.  When I asked him what sort of theme he’d like this year he asked if it could be a surprise! 🙂

I am creating…
homemade Valentine cards with Rose and Snuggles! I’ll share some pictures of our creations sometime soon, but in the meantime, aren’t these Vintage Valentines adorable?

I am going…
to pre-order Lent at Ephesus.

I am hoping…
that I will hear back from our pediatrician soon. Last week we took our oldest to see his pediatrician for an evaluation and to begin some testing for a reoccurring problem (violently vomiting for hours) he has been having every 1-2 months this past year, and again last week. Hopefully we can figure out the cause (and a solution) before it happens again. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for him!

I am praying…
for a few special intentions and an increase of true, sacrificial love within our family during this month of February, which is dedicated to the Holy Family.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, like you we are members of the Father’s family. We pray that our family love may reflect his love on its openness to all people. May we forgive even when not forgiven, and be patient with others’ weaknesses.

Jesus, give us peace, unit and strength to meet the difficulties of daily living. May we use our family resources to improve the quality of life for ourselves and all people. Let us show joy in serving, for whatever we do for others, we do for you.

Mary, inspire us, that our love may be strong but not possessive. Let our willingness to give depend on the needs of others rather than on the cost of giving.

Joseph, help us to be attentive to the Father’s will. Let us be ready, as you were, to act whenever he calls us.

I am reading…
Cranberry Valentine and making plans with Snuggles and Rose to bake a Cranberry Upside Down Cake (using the recipe on the back cover) with the cranberries in the freezer.

Pondering these words…
which begin the chapter titled “The Wounds of Childhood” in The Context of Holiness (one of my birthday gifts!) by Marc Foley, and thinking back to some of those events in my own childhood.  I think I’m really going to like this book.

There are certain events in life, deaths, births, marriages, divorces, and critical life choices that cut life in two. They determine “before” and “after” for us. They are definitive moments after which life will never be the same… 

I am listening… 
to Snuggles and Rose having a hilarious little conversation. They are across the room from each other and talking on their calculators cellphones.

Around the house…
legos. This afternoon I was about to “kill a spider” when one of the kids said, “Mom!  It’s just a lego!” That “lego” looked way too real on our tile entryway floor.

One of my favorite things…  
the smell of beeswax candles. Mmmmmmmmm 

This week’s plans…

  • Math Tutors (at home) on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Post Office, Library, and a few other errands
  • Rascal’s 12th Birthday – 
  • Dinner/Auction Fundraiser for the local crisis pregnancy home

A little peek at my day…
Nope.  I’m not going to share a picture of the smoking lightbulb, the little black “spider” I was about to smash, the mountain of laundry I have yet to catch up after falling behind while sick last month, the lunch crumbs on the floor, or the piles of school books on the countertops.  I prefer to focus my camera lens on the peaceful and precious moments that are sprinkled throughout the day in spite of the craziness of large family life. ♥ 

Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, 
the only one goal of our labors. ~ St. Therese of Lisieux


  1. Erin

    Yes if we zoom in with the lens we can often block out those piles of books and washing, zoom in real close though;) Always love reading your daybooks, a lovely glimpse into the beauty and craziness we are called to lead{}

  2. Stephanie

    Loved the Holy Family prayer you shared..thank you!!"

  3. Patty

    I would love to hear what the pediatrician says. Our only son (who is adopted) had these outbreaks since he was 1 (he's now 8 1/2). He seems to have outgrown them, but during all those years, it was so frustrating for him and us. Since he's adopted, we weren't sure if there was a family history of this. The doctor did not seem to concerned (which, of course, I was not happy about). We tried to watch what he ate prior (it seemed pork would set his stomach off) and getting up early to end up riding in the car somewhere (early Mass, leaving on vacation) would always end up with him getting sick all over himself in the van. Many times, he would make it to Mass, but would have to leave during. It would also hit out of the blue. He'd be fine and then he'd be sick the next moment. At any rate, since he seems to have outgrown it we haven't pushed the subject any further and have slowly reintroduced pork to him and he appears able to withstand it.

  4. 9peasMom

    A Time To Keep is my favorite Tasha Tudor book. I will keep your son in our prayers…my second went through something similar at about this age. My email is krschb11@gmail if you would like to know how we figured out what was wrong. Corn but not a straight allergy (that would have been too easy). Pray to St. Anthony to help FIND the answer!

  5. Christine

    Captain will be in my prayers. We are anxiously waiting for Lent at Ephesus to arrive. I understand about having more books than shelves. 🙂 We are trying to decide where we can put another bookcase.

  6. Jessica Gordon

    It sure is a beautiful and joy filled life, even when the week gets off to a rough start! We are so blessed! 🙂

  7. Jessica Gordon

    You're welcome! I think it is such an inspiring prayer!

  8. 9peasMom

    I'm on my kindle and have no idea if my comment published. I'll wait. Before pecking the whole thing out. Again

  9. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, I did take off the word verification, but I still have the comments set to moderate so they don't show up right away. I've actually been considering a switch to Intense Debate to help cut down on the quantity of spam and I was told that I can create a "white list" and approve certain email addresses automatically (for all the frequent commenters, after the initial set up – then I would only have to moderate new/unknown email addresses and anonymous comments!)… I haven't made the switch yet but I've been thinking about it and trying to decide. 🙂 Anyways, all that to say sorry for the added inconvenience, and thank you for taking the time to comment!

  10. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Kathy! I will try sending you an email a little later this morning. And thank you for the suggestion to pray to St. Anthony! I will start doing that today.

  11. Jessica Gordon

    I'm so sorry to hear that about your little guy! Our pediatrician did say that it was going to be complicated to figure out… We are still waiting for a call back to hear what the GI specialists have to say. (Our doctor is out of the office M-W this week and said we should hear from him Thursday.) We've been tracking foods the last few times but haven't noticed a pattern yet. Our son is the same way – perfectly fine one moment and horribly sick for hours the next. At first I thought it was a virus, but when he repeatedly got sick without anyone else catching it I really started to worry and took him to see the doctor in September (before that we had taken him to urgent care when he was really bad a couple times, since it was late at night). He wasn't sick at the time we originally saw his doctor, and had no symptoms, so the doctor said to come back the next time it happened, but that ended up being late on Thanksgiving night. I was glad at least that this last time was during office hours. I have had a couple people suggest pork might be the cause, but we rarely eat it (though lately I have been making more bacon) and there was only one time he had eaten some before he had been sick. I've wondered if it could have something to do with his age and growing up (hormone fluctuations make me really sick – though not nearly as sick as he gets) and I've also wondered if it could be sleep related (I try to make sure the older boys are getting enough sleep) but the doctor didn't seem to think that would be the cause. Anyways, it is somewhat reassuring to hear that so many others have dealt with similar issues. Thank you for sharing and I'll be sure to update if we find any answers.

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for the prayers! They are so appreciated!

    My husband keeps saying that we have too many books and I argue that a lack of shelves is the real problem! 😉 Actually the two shelves we just purchased are the 2nd and 3rd for our living areas. We also have one in each of the bedrooms (plus the old school room bookcases in the little boys room) so you'd think that would be enough! lol

  13. Anonymous

    Hi Jessica, I would love to know how the girls are liking their bunkbed. We are considering one for our daughters, so that we too can make more room for bookcases! God bless your beautiful family.

  14. Anonymous

    My son has had these vomiting episodes. It's a migraine. He can't skip meals or have any msg in food. Hope you get to the bottom of it. God bless

  15. Anonymous

    Sorry to hear what Captain has been through. Praying that he will be one hundred percent better soon!!

    Love your quote!! Those are really words to live by!

    Your creativity and thoughtfulness never cease to amaze me. God bless you!

  16. Christine

    Sorry to hear about your son. Prayers and hoping they find out soon the source of it all. looking forward to your surprise birthday party…your birthdays are always amazing!

  17. Kimberlee

    I'm so sorry to hear Captain has been ill! He will be in my prayers, that the doctors can find the diagnosis/solution. Could it be abdominal migraines? Migraines can run in the family and as you said the hormone issues could be exacerbating things, and the stomach pain/vomiting is often sudden with abdominal migraine. Poor, dear fellow – hope you find an answer soon!

  18. Jessica Gordon

    The girls love the bunkbed, and it is so pretty! It did arrive with some grayish paint splatters on one of the headboards and a few other flaws, but they offered me a discount rather than trying to return/exchange and so that is what we did. So far we have been very happy with the purchase.

  19. Jessica Gordon

    I'm not sure. Someone else mentioned that as a possibility over on Facebook and I've been looking into it. I'll be sure to bring it up when I talk to the doctor again. Thank you!

  20. Jessica Gordon

    He might be surprised with a very simple birthday this year 😉 We'll see what I'm able to pull together… I better get busy!

  21. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for sharing! Another friend has mentioned that her daughter too has issues due to msg and that it's in more foods than one would realize…

  22. Sleen

    So sorry to hear of your son's health problem. I hope an answer and solution is found quickly. It could be abdominal migraines–I would ask the doc specifically to explore that possibility.
    Will keep your family in prayer!
    I am in the same boat with all the books around here. I'm thinking of culling some of them, but not sure I have the fortitude 🙂

  23. Christine M.

    Praying for your son. My third son had episodes like that when he was younger. It seemed to coincide with the vitamins (with iron) he was taking, so I stopped giving him those. I believe that helped some, but he has always had more issues with it than the other kids. He has really bad allergies; I wondered if too much drainage would set him off. One time I could not get him to stop vomiting, and the doctor told me to have him suck on ice chips to calm his stomach, which did help slow things down. He also, even now, cannot skip meals. We always make sure he eats in the morning before Mass, or he never makes it through. I hope he feels better, and stays better, soon.
    I also wanted to say your quote is very accurate. After I read it, I thought about my childhood and could clearly pick out those moments that changed me forever. God bless!

  24. Michelle

    I really hate this for you…so frustrating. Our son who will be 20 soon has been dealing with nausea symptoms for years. The doctors will only tell you what it's NOT! They are really no help! The thing that makes Jake better is not getting up too early in the morning! Go figure! I tracked his food, made him eat gluten free, tested for food sensitivities (not only allergies), had a upper and lower GI and nothing is wrong! All I know is that when he was 14 he had the flu and has had trouble ever since. But now he is in collage and doing great because he takes late morning classes! I hope this gets resolved soon for him! I will pray! You can email me if you have more questions. Michelle Hayden mmhkah@bellsouth.net

  25. Gae

    Dear Jessica,
    Life sure can be busy and children with added health problems can make it hard to work out the everyday. We have had a few medical problems over the years with children and it does mean getting behind in things and rearranging priorities.
    Praying it all goes well and you find answers.
    Of course Tasha Tudor books are huge in our house and I love lookign at them for a return to the peaceful life

  26. Emily

    Poor sick baby, hope he feels better soon! And "Lent at Ephesus" looks wonderful! We have "Advent at Ephesus", and it's the only thing my little girl will fall asleep to, must look into this for her second birthday in March! Maybe this is a sign of a religious vocation? We like to think so!


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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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