38th Birthday Daybook

by | Jan 18, 2016 | Autoimmune Protocol, Daybook, Happy Birthday, My Siblings | 0 comments

Outside my window
Rain, rain, rain… lots of rain this weekend! In fact we currently have a flood warning. Our children keep hoping it will turn to snow, especially after seeing all the snow on the way to the boys’ out-of-town hockey game last weekend, but it’s too warm here in the valley.  We’ve had more snow than usual this winter, but it never sticks around for long. It was the snowiest December on record up in the mountains around us!

I am thankful… 
Even though Sean and our oldest two were out of town Friday-Saturday for the boys’ high school robotics tournament, I still had such a fun birthday with family and friends. We headed to the rink at 9:30 yesterday morning, for a game and practice. My brother and his family showed up to visit for awhile and then ended up having my five youngest over for the afternoon while I met up with a friend for lunch. After that we headed to my parents home for dinner. It was such a nice day!

Learning all the time
It’s hockey season! Each week our eight year old is the first player suited up on the bench waiting for his game to start. He looks forward to his hockey game all week long!

Do you remember last year’s End-of-School Interviews?  Well, our oldest daughter is getting her wish! The girls were so excited to start the Learn-to-Play Hockey Program last week. We are at the rink so much already, what’s one more hour a week, right? 😉

Celebrating the liturgical year…
I ordered extra candles from the Cloister Shoppe last October to save for Candlemas, but will probably order a few more beeswax tapers to have blessed this year as well.  You can find and scroll through all our past Candlemas posts, including our Candlemas Cookies, in the archives here.

From the kitchen… 
My mom asked if there was anything special I wanted for my birthday this year…. Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a special cake I had wanted to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas and never had the extra time or energy. I told her that was the only thing I wanted and I even had most of the special ingredients, including the arrowroot starch and unflavored beef gelatin. If anyone could pull it off it would be my mom! She is amazing in the kitchen, especially when it comes to cooking or baking healthy and healing foods.

Not only did she pull off the cake, she made a delicious dinner for all of us, and even had my dad pick up balloons. He wouldn’t agree to the “38 balloons!” that she requested (hahaha! I can not picture my dad picking up any balloons at the store, let alone thirty-eight…) but he did bring home eight!

I am working… 
My birthday gift to myself this year?  Hitting “Weight Maintenance Mode” for the first time in at least thirteen years! I only “maintained” my weight loss for about a day last time, finding out I was pregnant the next day with our oldest daughter, so really it’s the first time since I got married. It’s been a long, hard road, but I’m so grateful that I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol last March and have been able to start regaining my health, and losing all the extra weight as an added benefit!

Here is a little update from the various charts in my TargetWeight app this morning:

I am going…
to start going through all the clothes in my closet again soon. I have very few pieces of clothing that fit! Since last March I have dropped from a large to a small (or loose fitting medium) in tops, and from a size 12 or 14 to a 2 or 4 (depending on the brand) in pants/skirts… Crazy!

I am hoping…
I wouldn’t mind losing up to five more pounds, toning, and working on building muscle, but I really don’t want to lose any more than that and need to figure out how to get enough calories in my limited diet to maintain my weight… I’m also hoping that I will start having some success adding additional foods back into my diet. So far I haven’t been very successful and it’s been incredibly frustrating to say the least.

I am praying…
for so many intentions, including my mom. At this point she has decided to “wait and watch” to see if her tumor grows before scheduling surgery. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for her, and for my husband’s parents. We are continuing to pray that my mom’s tumor starts to shrink (she has been trying a number of alternatives) or that at least it doesn’t grow any more…

Pondering these words…
from a homily given by St. John Paul II back in 1979:

“In order that Christian marriage may favor the total good and development of the married couple, it must be inspired by the Gospel, and thus be open to new life—new life to be given and accepted generously. The couple is also called to create a family atmosphere in which children can be happy, and lead full and worthy human and Christian lives.

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others and share their burdens (cf. Gal 6:2; Phil 2 :2). Each one must show concern, not only for his or her own life, but also for the lives of the other members of the family: their needs, their hopes, their ideals. Decisions about the number of children and the sacrifices to be made for them must not be taken only with a view to adding to comfort and preserving a peaceful existence. Reflecting upon this matter before God, with the graces drawn from the Sacrament, and guided by the teaching of the Church, parents will remind themselves that it is certainly less serious to deny their children certain comforts or material advantages than to deprive them of the presence of brothers and sisters, who could help them to grow in humanity and to realize the beauty of life at all its ages and in all its variety.

If parents fully realized the demands and the opportunities that this great sacrament brings, they could not fail to join in Mary’s hymn to the author of life—to God—who has made them his chosen fellow-workers.”

I am listening…

I haven’t had much time to read to the kids this past week, but my dad has been reading to his grandchildren! He stopped by one afternoon, when he had a little break in his work day, with a book he has had since he was in kindergarten. Last night, as soon as we arrived to their house, he started reading from Winnie the Pooh. I loved it when he read to my siblings and I when we were growing up, and I love hearing him read to my own children even more!

Around the house…
Sean and the boys beat us home last night, and we ended up coming home to a warm fire, clean kitchen (I had left a mess and a sink full of dishes), homemade cards and pretty flowers on the island.

My birthday gift this year was a new purse and a new wallet, courtesy of our home owner’s insurance following the theft last month… My husband decided to just let me pick them out myself this time and I ended up choosing a classic (not too deep! don’t want to be tempted to keep too much in it ever again!) black leather satchel, but the wallet I choose is so pretty and colorful! 
At first I wasn’t finding anything I loved and almost decided on the Fossil Emory Clutch, but then I asked the sweet sales lady if she had a favorite wallet.  She said she did, and that it was a Patricia Nash wallet over in the designer section, but that it would be on clearance if they had any left. She had to do a little searching but found one last wallet in “Antique Rose” and it was nearly 50% off. Perfect!!! 
One of my favorite things…  
I sure love my large immediate and extended family and all my dear friends, including all my friends here at Shower of Roses. I’m so blessed to have you all in my life! I didn’t have time to respond to everyone, at least not yet, but it was so much fun to read through all the emails, texts, and messages thoughout the day. Here is one from my sister Jenny that put a huge smile on my face late last night:

“I want to wish my big sis Jessica a happy birthday! She’s one year and two months older than me so we had lots of adventures together as little girls. I bought my first car from her and she helped teach me to drive. She helped train me for my first real job when I was 16 and she was 17. We’ve worked in business together at various times and I’ve always learned a lot from her. She’s so smart and successful with whatever she puts her mind to. But most of all she’s the most incredible mother and teacher to her seven children that she home schools, as well as a wonderful wife to her husband. Thanks Jessy for inspiring me and loving me. Happy birthday!!!! xoxoxoxoxo”
Such great memories… even teaching her how to drive, including (at least looking back now… I was pretty mad at the time!) that night I let her drive my little 300Z and she almost crashed into the front of a house (use the BRAKE, Jen, NOT the gas pedal! lol) but was stopped by their row of bushes! I later refused to teach her how to drive stick, a whole other terrifying experience, until after she paid me for the Acura Integra I was selling her! Unfortunately that job/sales training I gave her wasn’t enough to keep her from getting fired by Trump. 😉  

This week’s plans
Mass, homeschooling, additional classes, tutors, work, hockey… pretty much the same as usual. 

A little peek at my day…
I had a little help blowing out the candles while Dad played his guitar and everyone sang “Happy Birthday!”

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so incredibly special. I love you all! 


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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.

Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-21, 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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