End-of-Summer Daybook

by | Sep 8, 2015 | Daybook, Gratitude | 16 comments

Outside my window
Sean and our oldest two boys were able to go and watch David (my youngest brother and Godson) compete in the Men’s Semifinals (top 4!) at the 86th Annual Southern Oregon Golf Championships this weekend! One of my other brothers, Kevin, has played in the finals the past four years, but wasn’t able to make it this year. Here is the link to an article in the local paper: OIT influence alive and well at SOGC

I am thankful… 
that Sean made it back home safely from his last fire assignment. Between the extra long night shifts, steep/hazardous terrain, and cougars, it was one of the more dangerous assignments he has had over the years. Thank you for the extra prayers!


Learning all the time
I happened to spot our oldest son listening to an audio book while coloring in one of his old World War II coloring books the other day while I was washing dishes. He sure loves the headphones he won during the National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week Contest this year!

Celebrating the liturgical year…
Birthdays are always joyous occasions in families. On September 8th, the Church, the Family of God celebrates the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will be celebrating with another cake!

From the kitchen… 
lots of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast for the little ones and I’ve been drinking lots of broth. I especially like Pacific Natural Foods little individual servings for convenience when I haven’t had time or energy to make more of my own. The Chicken with Ginger is my favorite followed by the Chicken with Lemongrass.

I am working… 
While my husband was off fighting wildfires, I was also working overtime here at home… I was even able to sell our motorhome and purchase a new vehicle – the first car we have purchased since buying our Toyota Sienna over 10 years ago when our fourth baby was on the way!

My Dad helped us wash and detail the motorhome before selling it and I started to have second thoughts! Even though it was small for our family we made so many wonderful memories in it this past year and a half… I miss it already!

We do think it was the right decision though and our hope is that we will eventually be able to purchase a trailer for traveling and camping trips. In the meantime it is soooo nice to have a vehicle that fits our whole family again!

This picture was taken just before Sean left on his last fire assignment. We had met in town (it was taking two cars to get us all anywhere) and the kids and I had a little time to kill while he picked up some of his fire gear, so we went to the car lot across the street to look at and test drive the vehicle we had been looking at online. I had to snap a picture of all the children waiting patiently while I talked to one of the salesmen.  A couple weeks later, I was back at the same car lot (I was there a lot this past month trying to get them to come down on the price!), without any of the children, and one of the other employees came up to me and said “You were here a couple weeks ago, with a whole bunch of kids, right?” I replied “yes…” while bracing myself for whatever comment might follow next out here in our ultra-liberal anti-life state… He went on to say “I just want to tell you I have never seen such well behaved kids in my WHOLE LIFE! Good job, Mom!”

I am creating…
the updated and revised Little Flowers Girls’ Club Crafting Pages are all completed. You can now download them directly from Behold Publications!

I am going…
I took my boys to watch their good friend’s very first high school football game last week. (His team won 0 to 48!!!) It’s starting to sink in that I actually have teens starting high school this year…

I am hoping…
that we are finally starting to recover from the stomach bug that is making it’s way through our home. It hit me and the three youngest really bad and my husband is wondering if it was perhaps food poisoning of some sort. After many sleepless nights, and way too many loads of laundry, we are looking forward to everyone being healthy again.

I am praying…
for the Snodgrass family. Here is an update from Renee about their precious new little saint in heaven:

“Many of you already know, but I just wanted to personally make sure you all knew that our precious 25-day old miracle made it to Heaven. Patrick Gabriel Snodgrass took his last breath Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 at about 6:25am safe and comfortable at home in the arms of his daddy, with mommy and Nana Anna holding onto a hand. We are so blessed and grateful to have had him with us, even if it was for a short time. As you all know, he wasn’t even expected to survive in utero, let alone go term and survive labor, delivery and almost 3 weeks at home!!!!! He was a fighter and he put up a good fight, so we could be touched and moved by such a precious gift from God. Thank you all for your support and prayers and best wishes. We certainly have felt them all and are so grateful.”

August 16, 2015: Our children got to meet beautiful little Patrick Gabriel after Mass this morning! He is still here and was anointed with chrism oil during Mass. (He was baptized by his dad immediately after birth due to his health issues/trisomy 13.) I loved kissing his sweet head and smelling the chrism. My eight year old thought his extra digit was especially cool! Please keep the prayers coming for the Snodgrass family!

I am reading…
Teachers Manuals, Table of Contents lists, and Lesson Plans. Our new school year is about to begin!

Pondering these words…
about “Gratitude for the Grace of God” from Imitation of Christ. My husband sent me pictures of Chapter 10, which he had opened up his book to, shortly after hanging up the phone one day during his fire assignment while struggling to fall asleep. We had just been talking about needing to work on our patience and gratitude, after over a year of unsuccessfully trying to move. God seems to want to keep us here for now.

“Why seeest thou rest, since thou art born to labor? Dispose thyself to patience rather than consolation, and to bear the cross rather than to rejoice. For who is there among worldly people that would not willingly receive comfort and spiritual joy, if he could always have it? For spiritual consolation exceeds all the delights of the world and the pleasures of the flesh….” 
 “Be grateful then for the least and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater things. Let the least be to thee as something great, and the most contemptible as a special favor…” 

“Yea, though He give punishment and stripes, it ought to be acceptable; for whatever He suffers to befall us, He always does it for our salvation…”
I am listening…

I walked into the living room and my heart melted… Our eight year old was reading The Princess and the Pea aloud to his little sister while she rests her head on his shoulder and his little brother plays with his hair.

Around the house…
While I was busy creating the final sample pages for the Little Flowers Crafting Pages, the children were also squeezing in all sorts of last minute summer fun (despite the smoke filled skies outside, which have thankfully cleared for now after some much needed rain!) building bridges, painting pictures,  assembling puzzles, and dressing up.

“Good Mornin’ Mama!” 

One of my favorite things…  
listening to my dad play his guitar. Definitely one of the reasons I’m glad we are staying where we are for now. I would sure miss living near my parents.

This week’s plans

  • Monday: Labor Day Observed, Back-to-School Preparations 
  • Tuesday: Back-to-School Celebration and Photos, First Official Day of Our New School Year, High School Robotics (two oldest)
  • Wednesday: Math Tutor (for our two oldest)
  • Thursday: Tutor at our home (7am-1pm), High School Physical Science Lab (two oldest)
  • Friday: Rosary Vigil Service celebrating the life of Patrick Gabriel Snodgrass
  • Saturday: Catholic Funeral Mass for Patrick Gabriel Snodgrass+ 
  • Sunday: Latin Mass (once every two months), older boys serve, Sean leads choir

A little peek at my day…

from over at Instagram.

I’m sorting through school books, typing new checklists, and trying not to let myself get too overwhelmed at the thought of home educating six children from kindergarten through high school this year… technically seven if you count pre-school too! I had to stop and reread one of my of my favorite quotes from St. Josemaria Escrivá: 
“Don’t drag the Cross…Carry it squarely on your shoulder, because your Cross, if you carry it so, will not be just any Cross: it will be… the Holy Cross. Don’t bear your Cross with resignation: resignation is not a generous word. Love the Cross. When you really love it, your Cross will be… a Cross, without a Cross. And surely you, like Him, will find Mary on the way.” 
#catholichomeschool #newschoolyear
#dearLordpleasesendextragraces #ithinkimightneedthemthisyear


  1. Aimee Landreneau

    Okay, we gotta know what kind of vehicle you bought!! We are praying for a larger one as well…even if our family doesn't grow by numbers, we are growing in the size of these once-little people! I always love your daybooks!

    2015-09-08 18:40:38

  2. Jessica Gordon

    We've been going back and forth for years, trying to decide what to get, and ended up deciding on a nine seat base model Suburban. With how far we live from town, the gas mileage is so much better than a large van. Not to mention I feel so much safer driving it. The 4×4 will also be great in the winter. I love it! We had definitely outgrown our mini-van… years ago!

    2015-09-09 05:56:23

  3. Sandy

    Good luck!

    2015-09-08 23:38:16

  4. Barbara

    Great Daybook — loved catching up, even though I've seen bits and pieces on FB. I especially loved the pictures of your dad playing the guitar. My dad has been gone from this earth for a long time, but I still have the fondest memories of him playing guitar. Your children are sooo fortunate!

    2015-09-09 01:46:09

  5. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Barbara! I can't imagine how hard it must be to lose a father… I don't even want to think about that! I know I will always cherish the memories of my Dad playing his guitar and singing. I have a couple short videos on my phone, but would love to record him singing sometime. ❤

    2015-09-09 06:01:08

  6. Teresa

    Thank you for the thoughts and encouragement from St. Josemaria Escrivá. I'm in the same boat- homeschooling 7 children this year ( K – 12th grade) and feeling a bit overwhelmed on occasion. Love ya! Teresa in Kansas

    2015-09-09 02:50:10

  7. Erin

    How long have you not had a family car for!?

    Just love the pic of Snuggles, still surprised at how big he has grown, I remember him as a baby. That's how long you (and I) have been blogging for!

    Encouraging you, yes 6/7 children with the age spread is hard, no words to soft soap it, my friend. Hard but… you can do it, one step at a time {{{}} Praying

    2015-09-09 05:21:12

  8. Jessica Gordon

    We have had a 8-passenger mini-van for the past 10+ years. Since Bud was born, almost four years ago now, we have been short one seat when we all want to go somewhere together. It has been a bit of a challenge! 🙂

    I know!!! I started blogging just before he was born, over 8 years ago now! It's flown by.

    Thank you for the prayers! I hope you have a blessed school year!

    2015-09-09 06:14:27

  9. Jessica Gordon

    God bless you and your family, Teresa! I hope you all have a wonderful school year!

    2015-09-09 06:34:02

  10. Barbara

    My dad has been gone a lot longer than I had him — he died when I was in college — but many memories are as strong as if they happened yesterday. I really wish my children had known him, though. Get those videos!

    2015-09-09 12:55:05

  11. Bridget

    We've had our Toyota sienna for 9 years now and we just took a suburban for a test drive! Well, I took it for a drive since I'm the one on the fence wondering if I will be able to drive such a large vehicle! I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that much different than my van. Yes, 4×4 will be nice is what I'm thinking as well since my van always gets stuck going up my inlaws driveway in the winter (we live in PA). But, we are still deciding on the suburban, so we are renting one to take on our vacation this month to really give it a "test drive!" I've been wondering about the Snodgrasses. I will continue to keep them in my prayers.

    2015-09-09 13:21:30

  12. Susan

    I've been a long-time reader but I don't remember if I've commented before. I enjoy your posts so much! Anyway, I'm glad your husband is home safe from the fires too. Thought you might be interested to know that we were getting the smoke from them all the way here near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!

    2015-09-09 14:55:51

  13. Christine M.

    Praying for a blessed school year for you and your beautiful family! God bless!

    2015-09-09 15:33:20

  14. Melanie

    That picture of your three youngest…preciousness. Glad your husband is home safe. I think of you guys every time I hear about wildfires in the northwest.

    2015-09-09 15:50:18

  15. Shawna

    We have the same, although we just have 6 kids. We searched high and low for the 9-passenger (we bought it used) and it was worth the wait 🙂 it's very nice to travel in one car!!

    2015-09-12 04:42:04


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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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