Outside my window…
The sky is filled with smoke again and I’m dreaming of going back to the ocean… or anywhere with clear blue skies. I have discovered that the smoke triggers my anxiety/panic attacks. It seems to be affecting our oldest daughter too, who is complaining about chest pain and breathing difficulty this afternoon. Can you please say a little prayer for us? We are continuing to pray for the safety of the firefighters and all those affected by this year’s wildfires.

I am thinking…
I’ve probably gone a little overboard sharing pictures from last week’s trip, but I wanted to post them here for my in-law’s to see. They aren’t on Facebook/Instagram/etc, but they do read the blog – Happy 47th Anniversary you two!!! I promise this will be the last post with pictures from our trip. Next I’ll move on to a whole bunch of posts with pictures from Twinkle Toes’ birthday party! 😉

I am thankful… 
So thankful that Sean was able to take a few days off work to go camping. I needed to get out of the smoke and we needed some time together with just our family. It was such a great trip!

Learning all the time
I’m also thankful for the ability to home educate our children, or in this case campground educate! 😉 We kept up with math lessons at the picnic table…

… and learned history as it was read aloud around the campfire!


We also toured the lighthouse, visited the cheese factory, and so much more!

Celebrating the liturgical year…
We also were blessed to be able to attend a beautiful EF Latin Mass for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!  Afterwards we took Father out to breakfast and then later in the evening he joined us again for dinner at our campsite. He kindly blessed our RV (and the campground), taught the children how to play Yatzee, and we ended the evening with cake!

Just because we were camping didn’t mean we couldn’t still have birthday cake for Mother Mary, topped with our usual 10 candles representing a decade of the Rosary. I was so pleased when I found this beautiful single layer white cake, complete with a blue rose, at the local grocery store for only $6. It was perfect!

The next morning the boys served another EF Latin Mass on the feast of St. Peter Claver.

This past Sunday we also had our own local EF Latin Mass – it’s once every two months and happened to fall on September 14th, the anniversary of the implementation of Summorom Pontificum! I picked up a cake to serve after Mass.

From the kitchen… 
Too. Much. Cake. and. Candy!

I didn’t have any trouble passing on the cake, but all the amazing samples at Cranberry Sweets & More (and Face Rock Creamery) were irresistible.

I especially couldn’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy a Chocolate Almond Cheesecake truffle. YUM!!!

We brought home a few things to give as gifts, and I am back on my diet.

I am working on… 
The 17 Day Diet and exercising. I’ve really struggled with my health and weight following my miscarriage and have a lot of weight to lose. Even with a few cheats on Day 15 I still was able to make it through Twinkle Toes’ birthday party, the golf tournament, and a few summer BBQs without cheating and drop over 13 pounds during the initial 17 Day Accelerate Cycle! It’s a start. I still have plenty to lose to get back to where I need to be and next up is the Activate Cycle.

I am creating…
my to-do list for the next couple days… Is it Friday yet?

I am going…
to Catholic Women Rejoice! I’m so excited to finally meet Danielle Bean! If you live in the Pacific Northwest there is still time to register before tickets sell out. I’d love to meet you there!

I am hoping…
to finally have an opportunity to sort through the pictures from Twinkle Toes’ birthday to share with you all. It was so sweet!

I am praying…
for God’s guidance as we continue to discern His Will for our family.

I am reading…
Augustus Caesar’s World and The Borrowed House (aloud to all the children), The Young Reader’s Shakespeare: Julius Caesar (with the younger children), and A Graphic Life of Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar (with the older boys).

Pondering these words…
from Mother Teresa:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” 

I am listening…
to the air conditioner. We’ve had to keep it running to filter out some of the smoke that is making it’s way into the house.

Around the house RV and Campsite…
Thank you, Miss Charlotte, for recommending Say Anything! Captain received it as a gift on his Bacon Birthday and we played it the for the first time while camping. It was SO MUCH FUN!

“Dad and Mom, come play! THIS one’s for YOU Mom!” 

After watching the sunset on our last night at the beach (and showers to wash off ALL that sand) we roasted marshmallows for s’mores!

One of my favorite things…  
I love that my girls love to dress up and wear their “old fashioned” dresses.

You were right, Melanie, this picture is pretty in sepia.

This week’s plans

  • Dropped the Sienna off at the mechanics yesterday for service and repairs (I am hoping I get it back tomorrow since I really need a car on Thursday and would rather not take the RV to piano!) 
  • Catholic Digest writing deadline (was Monday and I’m still working on it…) 
  • Tutors on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Piano lessons on Thursday
  • The girls and I leave on a road-trip Friday!!!! (Please keep us in your prayers!)
  • Snuggles has another Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey lesson on Saturday
  • My in-law’s 47th Anniversary today and my Mom’s birthday on Sunday!

A little peek at my day…
I stopped in town during the five minute drive to our Mission Parish to take this photo of one of the new fires in our area… I mentioned on Instagram that “If the skies fill with smoke again I’m going on another road trip. My anxiety can’t handle any more smoke…”  I wasn’t kidding!


  1. Lori

    I will be at the conference too! I am a long time reader, but I don't think I have commented. I am looking forward to meeting you in person!

    2014-09-17 03:31:12

  2. Jennifer

    I am praying for you and your family and wishing I could join you at the conference. God bless you! Great work on the diet, I know how difficult it can be, especially after a miscarriage.

    2014-09-17 04:23:53

  3. Jessica Gordon

    Yay! Thanks for commenting and I look forward to meeting you! 🙂

    2014-09-17 04:52:03

  4. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Jennifer! Hopefully one of these years it will work out to meet at a conference! God bless you too!

    2014-09-17 04:53:13

  5. Megan @ The Ipps

    I am so sorry about the anxiety attacks! I never thought about it until you mentioned the smoke triggering it, but the same happened to me when we had the Funny Rive Fire and other fires here in Alaska. It is so stressful to have to close- up the house and smell the smoke with many children. That fear of smoke getting in your lungs, not being able to go outside, and the possibility of having to leave is super stressful. We do not have air conditioners here so we had to turn on electric air purifiers. I pray that the fires/smoke disepete soon! Panic attacks are awful. I get them when I travel , especially to new destinations I have not been to. God Bless!

    2014-09-17 05:53:52

  6. Christine

    You and your family are in my prayers. When I saw the photo of Mary's birthday cake, I thought that you had ordered it. Wow! As Fr. S. says, "I don't believe in coincidences." I think that it was made just for you. 🙂 Your daughters and my good friend, Heather's daughters, would get along so well. I hope that you have a safe road trip. May God bless you!

    2014-09-17 12:21:31

  7. Jamie

    Prayers for all your intentions and I am sorry about the panic attacks!! I can totally see the smoke causing panic attacks….it is like claustrophobia!!!! Wondering what you use for math for 2nd grade-ish? We have done Abeka for K and 1. A few people talked me into Singapore this year and I am regretting it heartily.

    2014-09-17 12:52:40

  8. scmom4

    I really sympathize with you regarding your anxiety. It's so awful to have that feeling sitting in your chest and have no power over it. I haven't felt the need to flee yet, but it is "fight or flight" so I understand it. Stay hydrated and away from caffeine. PS even on a bike ride — your lipstick is perfect! 😉

    2014-09-17 12:58:43

  9. Pru

    I am glad to see that I am not the only mom to takes school on vacation! My kids get real "huffy" when I pull out the books. I am sharing this phot with them today.

    2014-09-17 14:19:37

  10. Terra

    That smoke would distress me too. I prayed for rain and for the fires near you and in other areas to be put out. Your vacation, the camping, homeschooling at the camp, the cake with the blue rose, it all sounds like an enjoyable week, and you got away from the smoke for a bit.

    2014-09-17 16:00:11

  11. Cathy

    Jessica, my ears always perk up when I hear of fires, hoping all is well in your part of the world. Praying for safety. Also, never apologize for posting pics of your family. They are all wonderful! Take care of yourself.

    2014-09-18 02:21:38

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Christine! I really couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the cake in the case – looking nothing like any of the other options. It was made to be a birthday cake for Our Lady!

    2014-09-19 07:57:27

  13. Jessica Gordon

    I'm so sorry you've struggled with the same thing! I can't imagine not having the air conditioner to help filter some of it out of the house. . .
    2014-09-19 07:55:26

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Jamie! I really appreciate the prayers! We have been using Saxon 2, continuing on from Saxon 1, and I am (surprisingly) very happy with it this time. It was nearly impossible when I was a new home educator with three children in Saxon 1, 2 and 3, but using it with just one (and simplifying) has been working out great for us.

    2014-09-19 07:59:12

  15. Jessica Gordon

    It is awful.. But it does help to know that something real is causing it (at least this time), now that I've linked it to the smoke. I'm really looking forward to getting out of town for awhile and pray that it's gone when we return at the end of the month.

    2014-09-19 08:00:35

  16. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for the prayers, Terra! It really was an enjoyable week and getting away from the smoke to breathe the fresh sea air was heavenly!

    2014-09-19 08:02:02


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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)

A Little About Me

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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