October Daybook

by | Oct 28, 2014 | Daybook, Saints n' Stitches | 16 comments

Lately it’s been so much easier to share a peek at our day over at Instagram and I feel like I’ve been neglecting my Daybooks on the blog! Here is some of what we have been up to this October. 
Outside my window…
We had new gravel delivered this month for the new outdoor parking areas that were created during all that excavation earlier this year. My parents came over with their tractor to spread it for us. The patio and shed are nearly completed but the garage project has been on hold since the beginning of summer, when we started reconsidering a move out of the area. In the meantime we are focusing on various little projects “just in case” we end up selling our home next spring.  It’s such a hard decision, and there are pros and cons both ways. We haven’t made a decision yet (it all depends on a job offer, or transfer opportunity, in the area we are considering) and we are praying (including novenas to St. Therese, St. Rita, and St. Jude) that God will make His will for our family clear.

Ranger even got to climb up into the truck to honk the horn! 

I am thinking…
that I really really really need to dedicate some time to my inbox. As usual I am struggling to keep up with everything and email is always one of the first things to go. I’m so sorry if you’ve sent me an email and I haven’t been able to respond.

I am thankful… 
that there are all sorts of saint costumes for the little ones to choose from in the costume box, and that the older boys have been able to find things that will work for the saints they have chosen as well! We picked up a few supplies at the craft store this weekend and hopefully it will all come together by Friday. 

Learning all the time
Our first quarter is coming to an end this week and I still haven’t had a chance to share our plans for the year… I guess the good news is that I’ll be able to share what we are actually accomplishing, instead of my original goals! Homeschooling six children this year is just plain HARD, but our year is off to a great start.

Celebrating the liturgical year…
Our annual All Saints’ Party is coming up at the end of the week and I’ve been busy making preparations. We also had a phone call from Father Carmelo last night asking if the boys were available to serve on Sunday. We were so excited to hear that he will be offering Mass at the Cemetery once again for All Souls!

From the kitchen… 
I still have quite a bit of local grass-fed beef in the freezer to use. I’ve been making Chili & Cornbread, Irish Beef Stew, and tonight we will be having Baked Steak in Tangy Tomato Sauce.

A couple weekends ago I finally made Apple Puff Pancakes which were received with cheers from all the children. It still remains at the top of the list of their fall favorites!

I always have lots of “help” in the kitchen…

If you missed it over at Instagram, these two couldn’t wait for the scones to come out of the oven. Apparently the smell coming from the oven vent while the scones were baking was “AHHHMAZING!!!”

I am working on… 
improving my health. The 17 Day Diet was a success before our trip in September, but after I arrived home again (and my husband insisted I go see a doctor) I had to make even more changes to my diet due to some challenges/infections I’ve been fighting since I miscarried at the beginning of summer. For the first few weeks of October I eliminated all foods except some lean meats, vegetables and nuts/seeds. I’m finally starting to get a little better and am slowly adding some other foods (coffee and a little bit of fruit) back into my diet. As you can see from the pictures above, that hasn’t stopped me from baking for my family. . . At least I could enjoy all the “amazing” smells! 😉

Last Thursday I couldn’t resist stopping at the drive-thru for a Coconut Milk Latte on the way to piano! Thursdays are just so… full… from (way too early) start to finish!

I am creating…
new labels with additional saints for this year’s All Saints Guessing Jars. I’m also working on an activity for each day in November. I’ll share pictures (and printables!) soon, but in the meantime here are a couple pictures of the Saints n’ Stitches doll that Twinkle Toes has started creating.

I am going…
to look for a Advent Wreath for our dining room table, in addition to the wreath we keep in our living room. The 100% Beeswax Tapers I ordered from The Cloister Shoppe (affiliate link) arrived yesterday and they are so lovely! I also ordered their St. Nick Soap and a couple sweet picture books for children.

I am hoping…
that the appliance repair men will finally be able to fix my wall oven this week. It broke back in August, just before we left to go camping at the lake, and this will be their third attempt. Maybe that old harvest gold oven wasn’t so bad after all!  Thankfully this time I have a second oven as a back-up…  Still, it would be really nice to have the microwave again. I have candy to melt for some All Saints Day party treats!

Still not fixed, but at least the kids are entertained. I keep hearing them whisper and giggle about how the repair men look just like Mr. Fredricksen and Charles Muntz from Up!

Update: After three attempts and over $500 in parts (that $269 extended warranty was definitely the way to go!) all it needed was a new fuse! One that didn’t show up on their computer instructions to check. . . Thank you to the random tech on the support line for helping them figure it out!

It seems like everything has been breaking lately. Here is another picture from Instagram earlier this month:

My Dad is so awesome! Last month he came to my rescue and repaired/replaced our mailbox since Sean was out of town fighting fires and the post office threatened to suspend our mail service if it wasn’t fixed by the weekend… Today, after a very full “Monday,” he stopped by to help me with a leaky propane pipe. While he was here he also removed a nail from the blades of my garbage disposal (I’d like to know how that got down there in the first place!) and repaired the outlets in the girls’ bedrooms. Thank you, Dad!! What would you do with all your free time if you didn’t have twelve kids always needing help of some kind?! 😉

I am praying…
for many intentions and especially for my uncle who is in critical condition following an accident on Sunday night.

I am reading…
I haven’t had much time for reading lately, other than reading aloud from Augustus Caesar’s World for History, but a certain daughter is just like her mama was as a child and reads whenever she has the opportunity. One afternoon her Dad sent her outside to put away all the bikes and this is what I saw when I looked out the window. It only took her about two days to finish reading Olivia’s Gift.

The next morning while I was making Oatmeal she came out to the kitchen to tell me that “the baby that the mom miscarried in Olivia’s Gift was named GABRIEL, just like one of our babies!” It was so fun to tell her that the sweet author had actually named the baby in the book after ours and show her the comment from the author. ♥ Speaking of miscarried babies, I just had a note from the cemetery letting us know that the headstone for Gabriel and Anthony has been installed… just in time for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls! We need to take all the children to visit.

Pondering these words…
from St. Philip Neri:

“Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.” 

I am listening…
One of my favorite things to listen to has always been my Dad singing as he plays guitar.

A couple weekends ago my mom was in Napa watching one of my brother’s golf tournaments so I sent my Dad a text message letting him know that I was making Chili for dinner and we’d love to have him join us if he wasn’t busy. He texted back “sounds great!” and came over an hour later! He didn’t have his guitar with him, but we pulled out the one they had given us years ago and he started playing.  He asked the boys if either of them were interested in learning and Ranger ended up having his first lesson!


My parents stopped by again this Sunday afternoon for a little visit and a second lesson. 

Around the House…
Friday night has turned into movie night this school year! If you have any favorite family friendly movie recomendations to share I’d love to hear them. (You can find a list of my husband’s Twenty Favorite Movies here.) Some of the movies we’ve watched recently include The Perfect Game along with a few that are currently free on Amazon Prime: State Fair, Lassie (2005), and this past Friday we watched Fiddler on the Roof (with a couple skipped scenes and some explanations from Sean and I).  The girls and I are actually taking my mom to see Fiddler on the Roof performed at the theater in December, and we wanted to explain some of it to them beforehand!  I am also hoping to purchase tickets to take the all the older children to see The Christmas Carol in December as well.

It looks like Snuggles is sprouting some antlers! 

One of my favorite things…  
I looked outside the window a couple weeks ago and had to run and grab my camera. After taking the first picture I asked, “Is it hunting season boys?” … “Nooooo! We’re fighting Pannnn!” says the two year old. The seven year old had to translate for me, “It’s WWII and we are fighting JA-pan!” I love watching these two play together.

This week’s plans

  • Lessons Daily to complete our 1st Quarter
  • Appliance Repair Men Tuesday Morning (3rd Attempt)
  • Tutors on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Piano lessons on Thursday
  • Errands and Groceries, as usual
  • Date night with my husband… even if it’s only to run those errands! 😉 
  • Prepare Saint Costumes
  • Carve Saint-O-Lanterns
  • Decorate for Party
  • Host our Annual All Hallows’ Eve Party
  • First Saturday Mass and Solemnity of All Saints
  • Sunday Mass at the Cemetery for All Souls 
  • Sleep… perhaps on Sunday afternoon? 

A little peek at my day…

We started carving our pumpkins last night but we didn’t get very far. I’m still not sure what happened to all our pumpkin carving supplies… They are all cleaned out and we’ll continue tonight!


    1. Debbie

      I can totally relate to the picture of your daughter reading – I was an avid reader as a child and the one thing I never seem to have enough time for as an adult is reading. I am happiest with my face inside a good book! We just recently watched "The Mighty Macs" as a family and loved it!

      2014-10-28 19:54:05

    2. Erin

      Loved the pic of dd pushing bike and reading, I have a similar one of my oldest reading whilst pegging the washing on the line:) Beautiful that your boys headstones are ready for All Saints{{}} and pleased to hear your diet is helping your health{{}}

      2014-10-28 21:16:28

    3. Stephanie

      I love these kind of posts..such abundance! I am due with my fifth on All Saints, your big beautiful family is so inspiring! I too hope you can find some peace in the whole house/moving decision (we r a CG family). The Inheritance (Louisa May Alcott's first novel) is a fun movie, Nanny McPhee is beautiful too.

      2014-10-28 22:07:45

    4. Jessica Gordon

      Thanks for the recommendation, Debbie!

      2014-10-28 22:26:31

    5. Jessica Gordon

      Thank you, Stephanie! I'm offering a prayer right now for a safe delivery and healthy baby! Congratulations!! Thanks for the recommendations. The Inheritance sounded familiar and according to Amazon we purchased it in December of 2005! I'll have to see if I can find it! 🙂 (Otherwise I'll have to order another… It's only $4.44 at Amazon right now!)

      2014-10-28 22:18:49

    6. Kim

      Pollyanna, by Masterpiece Theatre, with Amanda Burton is a nice family movie… and Pollyana Grows Up, a Puffin Classic book, was enjoyed by my girls. Perhaps your girls would enjoy too. Your beautiful family are in our prayers.

      2014-10-28 23:06:53

    7. M.E.

      Wow! What a great post – will be praying for your family as you discern God's will for you. Thanks for sharing all your recent activities; loved seeing the pictures of your dad playing guitar and singing with your children while lovingly lending you a helping hand. Wanted to share some favorite movies – both for family night and maybe a few just you and Sean might like. Anyway, seeing your dad with your family reminds me of my own dad, and his all-time favorite movie was "The Quiet Man" (an Irish Catholic classic) starring John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara. It's just great, with a little Taming of the Shrew thrown in to add some spice! I always love seeing The Sound of Music as well as the other Julie Andrews classic, Mary Poppins. Also, can't recommend highly enough Catholic classic, "Lilies of the Field" starring Sidney Poitier – really, find this movie! OK, my number two recommendation is "Cinderella Man" – one of the very best recently made films that is Catholic through & through. My number one family film recommendation is "The Princess Bride"! It has everything – castles, kings, a Princess (of course) named "Buttercup," a giant, a wizard (and his wife) named Miracle Max, bad guys galore, a dread pirate (Roberts), good guys out to right the wrongs of the bad guys (Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya – "you killed my father, prepare to die!"), "inconceivable" events, sword fights, and above all, the search for "twue wuv"! What could be better than that? I've loved this movie since the first time I saw it when it was released in movie theaters & never get tired of seeing it. OK, on to some movies that are probably still too old for the children: 1) Man on Fire – not everybody will agree with me, but its theme of sacrificial love makes it a winner in my book. 2 & 3) Did you know that both Jason Bourne and James Bond are Catholic? It's true, I promise you. First of all, I can't get view the Bourne movies too many times & if you look real close at the end of the first movie, they show his dog tags and it says right on there, "Roman Catholic"! (We win!) And 007? In Quantum of Solace, James Bond returns to his ancestral estate and right there in the old mansion, is. an escape route through the huge stone fireplace that priests used back in the day when they were being hunted and killed for bringing the sacrifice of the Mass to faithful Catholics undergoing persecution for practicing their faith in Tudor days. If I remember correctly, said escape route led from Bond's ancestral mansion directly to the family chapel, located on the estate grounds some distance from the main house. So, Bond comes from a Catholic family – uh, we win again! So, break out the popcorn, snuggle up on the couch & have fun watching! Many blessings!

      2014-10-29 05:06:19

    8. Kathy@9Peas

      Many blessings to you Jessica, I enjoy your Daybooks so much, I need to get better about doing my own. We had so much fun carving our Saint O Lanterns last night, thank you for always sharing your resources.

      2014-10-29 13:05:05

    9. Mom2Seven

      I so enjoy reading these posts… so nice to have a little peek into your life! Please take care of yourself, Jessica… you do more than any mama I know! <3

      2014-10-30 00:39:40

    10. M.E.

      Sorry – the Bond movie I meant to reference is "Skyfall" rather than "Quantum…"

      2014-10-30 01:45:30

    11. jenny0992

      I absolutely love Daybooks. I like seeing how others are doing it. And homeschooling 6 is hard. My husband took everyone but the 13 and 16 year old camping the other night and I was AMAZED but how different the house was with only 2 children in it…teens no less!

      2014-10-30 06:27:53

    12. Jessica Gordon

      Thank you for the suggestions and prayers! I didn't like the Walt Disney version of Pollyanna when I was growing up, but I completely forgot that there is also Masterpiece Theatre version. And I'm definitely adding that book to the list for my girls. I'm sure they would enjoy it too.

      2014-10-30 18:32:49

    13. Eliana

      I enjoyed this post and so fun to see your daughter reading so enthusiastically (I used to read tons as a child too!). Some movies I would recommend, which you may or may not be familiar with: St Patrick (could be inspiring for the older boys, but has some strong scenes with people dying, or an impending pagan human sacrifice which St. Patrick prevents, so it would be too much for little ones). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0202595/
      Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang (fun old-fashioned musical– the only caveat would be to skip the song sung by the villainous queen, You're My Little Teddy Bear, since she dresses and dances immodestly in that scene). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062803/

      Old Disney Films such as… 101 Dalmations Lady and the Tramp The Jungle Book The Aristocats Johnny Shiloh http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Shiloh-Wonderful-Wor… The Swiss Family Robinson

      2014-10-29 17:39:09

    14. Amy Caroline

      Beautiful Daybook. But it sure makes me miss you guys! it has been too long!

      2014-10-31 22:01:26

    15. Denise

      Snowmen is a gem of a family movie that we found on Netflix. It takes place in Canada where three boys decide to break the world record for building the most snowmen within a set time. That was all I knew when I saw it and I don't want to give away one bit of it because it is so special. The first five minutes had me wondering what we had gotten into but it was fabulous. We enjoyed it so much I'm getting it for all my siblings as we spent 4 years of our childhood in Alaska. And maybe it is because my house is very cold at the moment but The Snow Walker is another favorite. It is about a pilot in Alaska that makes a delivery to a group of Inuits who convince him to take a sick woman to the hospital. He does and changes his flight plan and crashes. It is on the surface a story of survival but delves into a respect for a different culture and way of life, of sacrifice, and a belief in an afterlife. It opens with a snowy screen and a man walking towards you. Then it flashes back in time so if you skip the first five or ten minutes where the main character is in a bar and takes his girlfriend back to his place it is clean, other than his cursing later on. I'd have to watch it again (and hope to soon) to remember the expletives but I did let my 7 and 8 year old watch it. It shows how selfish, impatient, and flawed the main character is making his transformation all the more significant. So I would suggest you preview it. It is a fabulous date night movie. The kids were just asking about it so I think we will be planning a movie night soon.

      2014-11-05 19:26:08


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