{pretty, happy, funny, real} :: NPLTW 2015

by | May 17, 2015 | {phfr}, NPLTW, Pro-Life | 16 comments

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life with Like Mother, Like Daughter. ~

The NPLTW Photo Contest is a weeklong event that took place from April 28 through May 4, 2015. This contest challenges participants to take as many photos of themselves as they can while wearing a pro-life T-shirt and completing the tasks listed on NPLTW.com. During the week our oldest three children completed as many of the 475 tasks as they could. (It was originally 500 tasks, but 25 went missing on the list.) Captain completed 351 tasks earning 1370 points, Ranger completed 350 tasks earning 1368 points, and Twinkle Toes completed 350 tasks earning 1366 points. I promise that I won’t post all the pictures, but I do have quite a few more “pretty, happy, funny, and real” pictures that I’d like to record here on the blog.

“This was the funnest scavenger hunt I’ve ever done! We got to do so many things that we’ve never done before and meet people we never even considered meeting while spreading the pro-life message.” ~ Captain

“This contest was so exciting! Some of the tasks were fun, some were goofy, and some were difficult. It was really neat to meet and talk to our mayor. I also really enjoyed getting together with our friends to complete tasks.” ~ Ranger 

“I loved participating in this contest! I especially loved holding all the baby animals, holding my baby cousin, and learning about my great-grandma who was arrested and sentenced to jail just before she died for praying in front of an abortion clinic. I wish I could have met her! I also really loved sitting in the driver’s seat of that brand new white Miata!” ~ Twinkle Toes

Task 128: Helping a child plant a flower. (3 points)
Task 118: Laying down in your yard and make a heart shape with your friends. (5 points)
Task 123: Create a set of 3 pro-life Easter eggs. (5 points)
Task 57: Using peas, carrots and corn, make a pro-life message on a plate. (4 points)
(Note: The actual pictures submitted to the contest included my children wearing their t-shirts. These were just extra pictures I took of their creations. 🙂 
Task 155: At a store, holding at least 5 inflated, helium balloons.  (5 points)
Task 213: Setting a volleyball (volleyball net must be visible). (3 points)
While we were at the park I got distracted by the wildlife. So pretty! 
Task 451: Standing next to a sundial. (3 points)
Task 481: Pushing a double stroller down a sidewalk or path. (3 points)
Task 8: Sitting with a set of grand parents. (2 points)
Oops! Everyone was standing in the original pictures I took of the children with my parents, so we got to drive out to their home the next day for more pictures, this time making sure they were sitting… 
(I really learned to pay attention to details and read the directions carefully during this contest!)  
…and then the kids all got a little ride in the bucket of their Grandpa’s tractor, just like my brothers and sisters and I did when we were kids! Fun, fun, fun! 
Task 420: Participating in a human wheel-barrow race. (3 points)
Task 421: Participating in a potato-sack race. (3 points)
Task 215: Running on an oval track and field track. (4 points)
Bonus for carrying baby brother all the way around? The smiles and giggles were worth the effort!
Task 226: The top person in a six person pyramid. (6 points)
On Friday afternoon we headed to town to hang out with friends! They were happy to help with many of the “with friends” tasks and also had lots of ideas on how we could accomplish some of the remaining tasks on the list! It ended up being a really late night, but we had such a blast! 
Task 119: Laying down in your lawn and spell LIVE with your friends. (3 points)
Task 192: Playing cards with three friends. (3 points)
Task 12: Being carried by two other friends. (3 points)
Task 244: Playing a game of corn-hole with friends. (2 points)
Task 63: Playing hopscotch with two or more friends. (3 points)
Task 429: Limbo. (2 points)
We also stopped by my brother’s house to borrow his baby, bamboo, and sunroof! 
Task 5: Holding a baby. (5 points)  • Task 197: Standing in a patch of live (green) bamboo. (3 points)
“Mommy!!! Can you pleeeeease born another baby?!?!?!”
(I’m not sure why my younger children say “born another baby” instead of “have another baby” but I think it’s cute!)  
Task 44: Holding a duckling. (3 points)
“Mom!!!!! Can we please take home a duckling?!?!?!”
Task 36: Holding an animal that is both black and white. (3 points)

“Mom!!! Can we please get a kitty?!?!?!?!”
Task 33: Holding a basket of kittens. (4 points)
“Please!!! Please!!! Please!!!”
Task 24: Standing with your pastor. (6 points) • Task 283: Holding a book by Judie Brown. (4 points)
Task 37: Sitting with a solid black and a solid white dog at the same time. 
When we initially stopped by the parish office to see if we could see our pastor he wasn’t in the office. Our conversation with the secretary led to her calling the Pregnancy Care Center for us (and talking the administrator into meeting with us real quick before she left town!) and the suggestion of stoping by the recruiting offices to find a member of the U.S. Armed Forces in uniform. Perfect! She also said if we came back right before 4pm we could catch Father on his way into another meeting! 
When we got back Father asked if we needed his dog, Benny, for any pictures… We mentioned task 37 and needing a black dog too. He said, “Natalie (the youth leader) is here and I think she has Mercy with her!” Sure enough Natalie came over with Mercy and we were able to check off another task! In the meantime Captain noticed that the book sitting on the table in the corner was written by Judie Brown. What luck! 🙂 
This is just some of the people we met throughout the week including: Our Mayor, Hibachi Grill Chef, Burger King Manager, a member of the US Armed Forces, Pregnancy Care Center Administrator (caught her just as she and the rest of the staff were headed out of state for a pro-life convention), Taco Bell Manager, Animal Shelter Manager, Park Ranger, Walmart Manager, YMCA employee, Target Manager, 7-11 Manager, Red Lobster employee, Fire Chief…
We met so many people during the contest! We live in a very liberal state and it was always interesting to hear their reactions when we would explain the scavenger hunt. Usually, after the photo, they would say something along the lines of now what is this for again and we would respond “National Pro-Life T-shirt Week!” There was usually a long pause and then “Ooooohhhh….” Occasionally we’d get a thumbs up (Target manager!), a “glad to help!” (music Store), or a “keep up the good work!”  I had been especially nervous going into Target since the boys still had their faces painted with pro-life messages and everyone was staring… My oldest said God was testing me! I love their courage, dedication, and perseverance! 
Task 402: Sitting on a park bench wearing flippers, scuba mask and snorkel. (6points)
Task 129: Using three hula-hoops at the same time. (2 points)
Task 389: Take a bit out of an onion. (2 points) — The things my kids will do for a contest! 
Task 191: Gangnum-style 4 friends.
What my friend and I wanted to know was “what on earth is “Gangnum-style?” followed by “How on earth do our children all know what it is?” 
Task 405: Pretending to play tug of war (with no rope) with at least 3 of your friends at the mall. (5 points)
Task 173: Riding an escalator going down while looking through a paper towel roll. (3 points)
Task 172: Riding an escalator going up while holding an open umbrella. (3 points)
Task 146: At a clothing store standing next to a mannequin. (3 points)
Task 298: Jumping rope in an elevator (floor buttons should be visible behind you). (5 points)
Task 382: Exemplifying the phrase: “Forced Perspective.” (making something look different in size) (6 points)
Task 102: Sitting on a full-sized boat (at least 12 feet long). (3 points)

I don’t usually approach people at gas stations and ask if I can take a picture of my kids in their boat! 😉
Task 249: Thumb-wrestling one of your parents. (3 points)
Bud: “My turn, Mommy! . . .  I gotchu!”
I mentioned in one of my other NPLTW posts that we still needed to find one more person with braces so that he could get his own picture taken for Task 401: Standing next to two people that have braces and are smiling. (4 points) After the sweet employee at the Grange helped us get pictures holding baby chicks and the little ducklings pictured above she asked if there was anything else we needed…. Ranger looked at me with a big grin and I smiled back… “Why, yes! Actually, would you mind taking a selfie with us? He needs a picture with two others with braces!” Thank you, Kayla! 🙂 
Task 165: At a car dealership, in the drivers seat of a new, import car, with the door open.
Yep. . . We had to come back the next day and retake these pictures “with the door open.”
I’m wondering if that was intentional! 😉 
Twinkle Toes: “I love this car! I could totally see myself driving this when I’m 16!!” 
Mom:  “Hahahaha! Right….”
Twinkle Toes: “It’s only 5 years away!” 🙂

Task 416: Make a LEGO creation with a pro-life message. (4 points)
Task 287: Holding a sign that says “Abortion” under a STOP sign. (5 points)
Task 484: Holding a sign that says “Defund” in front of a Planned Parenthood so that it appears to say “Defund Planned Parenthood” (20 points)

Prayer to End Abortion
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, 
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.

I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, 
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death 
by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. 
Today I commit myself 
Never to be silent, 
Never to be passive, 
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, 
And never to stop defending life 
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, 
And our nation once again becomes 
A nation with liberty and justice 
Not just for some, but for all.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

(Note: You’ll need to scroll through this post again before clicking “older posts” or you can find them here: A Day Trip to the California CoastSeven Quick Takes (includes winner announcements), Decorating Cookies on Mother’s Day (Life is Precious cookies), Instagram Recap: National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week, and Getting Ready for National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week.) 


  1. Teresa

    You MUST have won the contest. You all did such a great job!! Just Amazing!! Teresa in Kansas

    2015-05-17 04:40:06

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Teresa! The boys came in 2nd and 3rd place; TT came in 4th! They are very excited about the prizes (Bose headset and speaker) that are on the way! 🙂

    2015-05-17 04:46:26

  3. Tracy Bua Smith

    Wow! Super impressive! Were you able to get any Homeschool lessons in, though all your tasks would totally count as "school" I'm sure! Great job and thank you for standing up for life!

    2015-05-17 10:40:02

  4. Melanie

    that is amazing! I love the "defund" planned parenthood, haha!

    2015-05-17 12:11:52

  5. Barbara Ann

    Wow, Jessica, this is a week that your children will remember for the rest of their lives! Did any other family even come close to all that your family did? They should host this contest leading up to the March for Life.

    2015-05-17 14:39:09

  6. Jessica Gordon

    It was such a memorable week! My kids kept thanking me over and over for letting them participate, and then thanked me again in the homemade Mother's Day cards they gave me! ❤ They will indeed remember it forever.

    1st place went to a 17 year old in Ohio! Not only did he complete the two largest tasks, he was also able to complete about 20 more tasks than each of my children scoring over 1500 points! So awesome and amazing!!!!

    We weren't able to complete the two largest tasks (a photo with a State Senator and a photo with a National Senator/Congressman). I did try to contact the local district senator and left messages but never heard back. It's a 4+ hour drive to the capital so that wasn't really an option either. We hoped to make up for missing those by completing as many of the smaller tasks as possible, but between our other commitments for the week and trying to do everything three times (not to mention needing to sort/upload/tag ALL those photos each night – over 1,000 pictures!) we didn't have enough time to get to all the ones we could have completed. We did our best and it was totally worth all the effort! 🙂

    My friend Charlotte suggested taking each of their photos from the week and creating a photo album for each of them. I think I'm going to have to try and do that sometime between now and Christmas! They'd love it!!

    2015-05-17 14:53:41

  7. Kathy@9peas

    Everything looks so fun, we may have to do this next year. I love getting good ideas from you!

    2015-05-17 16:15:00

  8. Jessica Gordon

    You should! It was an incredible experience! 🙂

    2015-05-17 16:34:53

  9. bernadetteosborne

    Your children, and all who participated in the contest, are amazing! They sure had their work cut out for them, God bless them! You can be very proud of all their hard work and determination in keeping up with those challenges. 🙂

    2015-05-17 23:36:54

  10. @NPLTW

    Very often the picture taker misses an important rule in completing the photo tasks—visibility of the pro-life t-shirt. With task #165—leaving the car door open helps make it more likely the pro-life t-shirt can be seen in the picture. Thank you for sharing your parental perspective in the photo scavenger hunt. We hope it encourages more parents and kids to participate in 2016.

    2015-05-18 15:01:24

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Yep! It totally makes sense! I didn't even bother uploading the original pictures of them in the cars. I caught my mistake as soon as I downloaded them to the computer and knew they would be rejected. 🙂

    I teased my kids that they just wanted an excuse to go back and sit in the Mustangs and the Miata again! 😉 What really happened was just before I took the picture the salesman said "Here, let me close the door!" I knew there was a reason it needed to be open but my mind was on so many different things at the moment (we had just finished talking about vehicle options that have enough seats for our large family) it didn't register until later and I said "Ohhh… okay." Thankfully the next morning, on our way to the coast, we happened to catch the same salesman and were able to retake the pictures quickly! 🙂

    I really do hope this post encourages more parents and kids participate next year!

    2015-05-18 15:39:44

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Bernadette! I am proud of them! 🙂

    2015-05-18 15:40:15

  13. Genevieve

    How absolutely fun!

    2015-05-20 02:20:38

  14. Sarah

    Great pictures! My sister and I also participated in the contest. We had to do it in our spare time (which is short being in high school) but we had great fun! Great job to Ranger, Captain, and Twinkle Toes!!! I can't wait to do it next year. 🙂

    God bless!

    2015-05-22 05:12:53

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Yes! On top of everything we completed for NPLTW we also had our final day of state testing on Tuesday, April 28th, followed by math tutoring. On Thursday we had our other tutor from 8-1 then piano from 2-3. Thankfully our four oldest had all completed their Saxon Math textbooks for the year, as well as a couple other subjects which lightened their school work for the week and made it much easier to take some time off for this contest. Wednesday was filled with various "field trips" including meeting our mayor (she actually spent an hour in the city chambers/her office talking to the children about what she does, our city, and more!) and the fire chief (who showed the kids all the different engines, including the old-fashioned engines they have at the local station!). Friday morning, after completing a little more school work, we did some "at home" tasks, then headed to town and spent the afternoon and evening completing tasks with friends from 2pm-11pm. We went to their home, various stores, the mall, the football/soccer field, searching for street signs (that started and ended with vowels like "Effie" "Anne" and "Academy"!), the airport, my brother's house -bringing some pizzas for everyone for dinner- the theater, the family fun center-mini-golf/arcade, at one point I even knocked on a door and asked the homeowner if he would mind me taking a picture of the kids in front of his "single digit" home address. lol By Saturday morning we were WIPED out. It took us half of Saturday to recover and we really didn't get very many tasks completed over the weekend. (I also had some blog commitments I needed to work on Saturday.) I did take the kids to town for a couple hours on Sunday (that was the day we went to the Grange and they got to hold the baby chicks and ducks and our first attempt at the car lot). Sunday evening we also coordinated the Latin Mass (my husband coordinates one every other month – including finding a priest, helping stet up, and leading the choir – and the boys serve the Mass) and we then took our pastor and the visiting priest out to dinner. We got back home after 10pm and then were up early again on Monday so we could get down to the postoffice by 7am and help raise the flag!

    We did take Monday completely off school, going on another "field trip" to one of the 113 National United States Monuments (aka the California Coast) for the day. I saved those pictures for another post, since this one already has way too many. 😉

    2015-05-17 13:28:52


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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-21, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-13, Bud-11, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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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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