My Daybook :: January 20, 2014

by | Jan 20, 2014 | Daybook, Organization, Papal Unit Study, Pope Francis, Precious Moments: 05, Sponsors | 17 comments

Outside my window…
the fog has cleared and the sun is shining!  I’m hoping to get outside this afternoon and go for a walk… perhaps down by the river!

I am thinking…
about our current curriculum as the second quarter of our school year comes to an end this week… For the most part it is going well, but there are a few things I haven’t been able to fit into our schedule and I plan to make a few little changes for the second half of our year.

I am thankful… 
that the Carson 5 Shelf Espresso Bookcases at Target are finally on sale!  The current sale price + $5 off $50 coupon code + 5% Target card discount + 2.5% Ebates Rebate = YAY!!!! I am finally going to have somewhere to put all those books that are currently stacked in my closet!

Learning all the time…

I’m so excited about this new book recently published by Magnificat/Ignatius!  I love it!!!  I have been considering saving it to put in someone’s Easter basket this year, but I don’t know if I can wait that long before sharing it with the children.  It is a perfect addition to our Papal Unit Study – which we ended way too quickly following the election of Pope Francis and the arrival of Easter last spring.  With the upcoming canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II on April 27th, I think I’m going to pick up where we left off and continue our Papal Unit Study with this great book!  (It’s also perfect for the upcoming feast of The Chair of St. Peter on February 22nd!) 

From the Archives:

And speaking of new books about the pope, has anyone seen Jorge from Argentina: The Story of Pope Francis for Children or Pope Francis: I Believe in Mercy by Regina Doman?  I’d love to include one about in Snuggles’ Easter basket this year about “his Pope” but after reading the reviews these seem like they are written for older children. Maybe I should just save this copy of Our Holy Father, the Pope: The Papacy from Saint Peter to the Present to give him after all… 

Celebrating the liturgical year…
tomorrow is the feast of St. Agnes and Our Lady of Altagracia!  After lunch I will read a story about her life while the children color a picture (or illustrate their own to add to their timelines) and then enjoy a little snack.  Charlotte has a lovely coloring page for St. Agnes and Catholic Playground has a couple beautiful options.

From the kitchen… 
Over the weekend we enjoyed homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza!  Olive Oil Pizza Dough (made with the recipe in my copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) topped BBQ Sauce, BBQ Chicken (I cooked Chicken Thighs in the crock pot with BBQ sauce), bacon, red onion, and mozzarella, transferred to the baking stone in the 500 degree oven with my super peel and baked in just 5 minutes.  Yummmmmmmm!

I am working on… 
renewing ads and scheduling some giveaways for the next quarter – February through April.  I’m so grateful for the support of my new sponsors and all my wonderful visitors here at Shower of Roses!

I am creating…
a meal plan for this week.   I haven’t grocery shopped (other than having my husband pick up some milk and fresh produce) since before Christmas!  At first it was out of necessity, since I was so sick the first two weeks of January, but now I’m wondering how long I can continue to come up with meals with what has been hiding in the back of the pantry and freezer. 😉  I just used up the last of our ground beef and still have a number of packages of steak and roasts to use up before the next 1/2 of grass-fed beef (which I ordered during the summer) arrives at the end of this month.  I wonder if Sean would be willing to grill them on Wednesday or Thursday…

I’ve been loving my Mama’s Notebook for jotting down meal plans and the books we’ve been reading aloud each week.

I am going…
to be staying home as much as possible this month!  There are just way too many viruses going around in our area at the moment and I’d love to avoid a repeat of the beginning of this month. I’m actually really enjoying the quite days at home, afternoon read-alouds with the kids, and the return to our weekly routine.

I am hoping…
to add the finishing touches to my Catholic Digest submission for April. It’s due today. You can subscribe to the Quiet Moments here if you don’t already subscribe to the magazine.  As inspiring as it is reading through the bible, prayer books, and saint quotes, choosing a quote for every day of the year on an ongoing basis is getting to be quite the challenge.  I sure enjoy it though!

I am praying…
for Charlotte’s sister-in-law, Kari, and for my college friend Shalon who delivered baby #7 three weeks ago and is currently recovering from a heart attack she suffered a couple days ago, most likely from post-partum complications.  Will you please offer a prayer for these young women too?

I am reading…
The Catholic Girls Guide by Father Lasance! I have been wanting a copy ever since I started the Little Flowers group for my girls.  I was so excited when a dear woman from church stopped by last week with some Catholic art, dvd’s and more for our family which included the 1946 edition of this book! 

The Catholic Girls Guide by Father Lasance and St. Therese rosary from Gail Giron Designs

Pondering these words…
and remembering all priests in our prayers.

The Priest Our Lord doth send
To teach to us His love;
To be our kind and trusted friend, 
Our guide to heaven above.

I am listening… 
to Bud singing “ALLL-lu-YAHHHHHH!” (like he did in this video) and he ended it with a quick version of his “giggle, giggle.”  Love this little boy so much!

Around the house…
the boys and I turned on Christmas music and spent some time taking down the tree on Saturday afternoon and packing up all the ornaments until next December!  It was surprisingly light (aka: way too dry!) and it was nice to be able to take care of this “chore” so my husband wouldn’t have to do it after work. He has been working the last two Saturdays – long days with lots of overtime!


From Instagram: Our family ornaments from Christmas 2002 & 2004
One of my favorite things…  
The Aroma Cordless Water Kettle, one of the gifts my husband gave me for my birthday, immediately became a new favorite of mine!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Now I won’t burn our house down (or ruin any more pots) after forgetting that I turned water on to boil. . .  and it is so FAST!

I’m also loving my recent TAZO tea purchases…  calm chamomile, wild sweet orange, rest at nighttime, and focus in the morning.  They are all so good! 

This week’s plans…

  • Math Tutors (at home) on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Orthodontist Appointment on Wednesday

A little peek at my day…
If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen most of these pictures from last night. Snuggles fell asleep on the couch just before dinner:


Photos 1 and 2: Someone told him to come eat dinner and he made it from one end of the couch to the other!  Photos 3 and 4: That “someone” keeps trying to wake him up but finally gave up and started mimicking him instead!
After all that sleep, Snuggles and I enjoyed some special one-on-one time late last night


  1. Hope

    I think snuggles would enjoy Jorge from Argentina. We just finished reading that one and everyone liked it. We read it in two sittings just over snack time so it isn't overly long but provides a nice account of Pope Francis' life.

  2. Maggie, ofs

    Thank You so much for posting about "Our Holy Father, The Pope" ! It looks beautiful! I immediately clicked and ordered. You have no idea how much I appreciate the books you recommend! I try to check here first when I am looking for new books because you always have such good suggestions. Thank You for being so faithful and posting on your blog. It is truly a blessing! We did your Papal Unity Study too! It was the highlight of our year. We did it with another family as a Friday Coop. I have pictures, I really should post. I really should be better about posting to my own blog. 🙂 Glad you liked the little Baby Jesus for the Jessee Tree. Funny you said it was one of your kids favorites my kids liked the Angel the best. Blessings, Maggie

  3. 9peasMom

    I always enjoy your Daybooks. My children (teenagers) keep doing the same thing with our kettle, I think that cordless pot would be a perfect addition to our home! Snuggles is adorable!
    I hope you are continuing to feel better and better.
    We are praying for your intentions, especially Charlotte's sister-n-law, it is heart breaking.

  4. Karen

    How do you like the artisan pizza book? I've had it on my Amazon list for at least six months now.

  5. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Hope! I will have to go with that one, unless I run across a 3rd option. I just realized the other is Manga, so definitely not a good fit for him, although my older boys might enjoy it. Did you purchase the paperback or the kindle version of Jorge from Argentina?

  6. Jessica Gordon

    You're welcome! I always love sharing my book finds with you all. "Our Holy Father, the Pope" really deserved it's own post, but I couldn't wait and had to include the pictures today. 🙂 My husband is even pickier than I am when it comes to books and it got a thumbs up from him too. I hope your family enjoys it!

    I'd love to see the pictures. If you end up posting be sure to send me the link!

    And, yes, we did love your Baby Jesus! Charlotte and I have talked about how neat it would be if we could come up with a whole set of Jesse Tree Ornaments made from the little wooden dolls. Wouldn't that be fun?!

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Kathy! I am feeling so much better and slowly regaining my strength. And, YES! Get the cordless kettle! You will love it!!!

  8. Anonymous

    Oh so many books I have to buy now! 🙂
    I don't blame you about staying home. We have something now that I have never come across. Sunday I felt perfectly fine. We got to church and suddenly I couldn't breathe, my chest started hurting, everything. I barely made it to the car. We have been prescribed albuterol inhalers!! So stay home!!
    Oh and the kettle. Now I need that, too, lol.
    Also, Tazo makes the best Earl Grey. Amazing! You need to get an earl grey latte next time you go to Starbucks.

  9. Jessica Gordon

    Oh, Amy! I'm so sorry you are sick! What you have sounds similar to what I just got over. . . One night my throat/chin swelled and I looked like I had gained ten pounds in my face and had trouble breathing – I should have gone to the ER, but didn't want to pay our high deductible, but thankfully I have medications on hand for when I am hit with my weird swelling issues and they seemed to work. Chest pains, croupy cough, sinus infections, body aches, flu symptoms, and so much more. I'd start feeling better and then be super sick again the next day. For some reason it hit me so much harder than anyone else in the family. A friend of ours said his mother has been in the hospital the past week with the flu – the first hospital she went to was full and she was put on a waiting list at the second hospital in our area… So much sickness in the valley!

    You would LOVE the kettle! When Erica was here last fall we were talking about kitchen accessories and I was asking her about some of her favorites. That was when I added it to my wishlist. I'm so glad Sean surprised me with it for my birthday!

    And I'm adding the Earl Grey to my shopping list. I haven't tried a TAZO tea that I haven't liked yet. 🙂

  10. Anonymous

    Oh, my goodness! I knew Shalon at school– I will certainly keep her in my prayers! How scary!

  11. Christine M.

    I did not realize you wrote the Quiet Moments. I can imagine it would be fun but challenging. I write a prayer insert for our parish bulletin each week to go along with the liturgical year, and sometimes it takes awhile to find/choose one to use and write about. Thanks for the wonderful book suggestions! We use a whistling teapot because I always forgot about my water as well. Have a blessed day. God bless!

  12. Jessica Gordon

    I know! So scary! Sherry updated that Shalon is home now and should have a complete recovery. I was so thankful to see that!

  13. Jessica Gordon

    I started writing/compiling that section for the Feb 2013 edition and have been since 🙂 And how neat that you contribute to your parish bulletin in that way! God bless you too!

  14. elm

    SOOOOOOO glad that you are enjoying your hot water kettle!!! I use mine nearly every day and have used it since 2008 or 2009… either way – we LOVE ours, too!! In fact… I think that a nice hot mug of something is in order right now!!! 🙂 And a beautiful book to consider for Easter time at our house!! How does your mid-March look this year, by the way??? 😉 😀

  15. Jessica Gordon

    I have been using it multiple times. every. single. day. since my birthday!!! Thank you mentioning it last year! And mid-March??? Other than Sean's birthday, I don't think there is too much going on, at least not yet. 🙂


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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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