Thanksgiving Daybook

by | Nov 29, 2017 | Daybook, Thanksgiving | 11 comments

Outside my {parents} window…

Our beautiful mom with five of her six daughters on Thanksgiving Day 🍁🍂 The rain let up long enough for a quick picture outside.  You’d never know it by this picture, she always looks amazing, but our mom is recovering from a broken arm and still dealing with her brain tumor which grew a little more as of her last MRI. We are grateful that she has been able to avoid surgery so far.

I am thinking…
about Advent and hoping everyone is healthy again by next Sunday. Some of the kids were sick the week before Thanksgiving, then a few more were sick over Thanksgiving and ended up staying home, by this past weekend the rest of us were sick with this cold/flu-like virus. We all stayed home from Mass on Sunday and today is the first day my husband has made it back to work. Lots of bone broth, vitamins, and essential oils getting diffused around here!

I am thankful… 
last Thanksgiving we shared the news with the rest of my siblings that they had another niece or nephew on the way… this year we got to introduce her to a couple more of them! We are so thankful for this precious baby girl. She has us all wrapped around her tiny little fingers!

Learning all the time…
one of his favorite things to do? Stack ALL the animals! He has asked for an “All God’s Creatures” birthday theme inspired by his favorite song A Place in the Choir. Any ideas?  ðŸ™‚

Celebrating the liturgical year…
November 25th is the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, a very special day in our home. We always bake heart shaped cake (or cakes) to celebrate. This year it was gluten-free chocolate cakelets topped with caramel.

“In Northern France it is a custom on St. Catherine’s day to give heart-shaped cakes to unmarried women who have reached the age of twenty-five. The idea is to encourage them in their search for love (and a husband).” – Cooking with the Saints
Saint Catherine of Alexandria • A Story of Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Original Painting of St. Catherine by Sleightholm Folk Art
Bud (5) insisted that I take a picture of the St. Catherine block he went to find too! 

From the kitchen…
I needed to work the day before Thanksgiving so I asked our 12 year old if she wanted to get started on the food preparations… 30 minutes later… Homemade Cranberry Sauce that is AIP compliant!

Cranberry Sauce


  • 16 oz fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • ¾ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (about 3-4 oranges)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 Tbs maple syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch cinnamon


  1. Add cranberries, orange juice, and water to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Let boil for 2-3 minutes until cranberries start to pop.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until sauce thickens and most of the cranberries have popped, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in maple syrup, salt, cloves and cinnamon.
  5. Let cool and then place in fridge to cool completely.

She loves to bake and is such a great help in the kitchen. She also baked a couple AIP Pumpkin Spice cakes with Gingersnap crusts, one to take to my parents and one to keep at home, and a loaf of Cranberry Bread (using her favorite recipe) to use up the rest of the cranberries.

I am working…
From home as much as possible. I do need to go into the office at least a few times each week, but I am so grateful for such a flexible job that allows me to work from home some of the time. I do miss the days of “just” homeschooling and having the time for blogging frequently and other hobbies, but the extra income has helped us pay off the Suburban and get back to being debt free other than our home.

I am creating…
Cinnamon Roll Turkeys for brunch on Thanksgiving Day after watching the parade! This year I did remember to pick up pretzels, but we completely forgot to use them! We used food coloring free Little Secrets and Yum Earth Candy Corn for some of the decorations.

I am going…
outside to calm the baby down with another walk and enjoying the sunshine before it starts raining again ☀️🍂🍁 #heretheycome We both love her Tula Free To Grow carrier. She’s not quite big enough to use my other carriers without an insert (which she isn’t a fan of) but we have gotten a lot of use out of this one!


I am hoping…
Santa Lucia day isn’t until next month, but I had to make sure the sleeper I order a couple months ago is going to fit. It’s still big, but it will work! I also have matching pink pajamas that I’ve been saving for a couple years for her sister! My favorite time of the year is right around the corner!

Pondering these words…
from Mother Teresa, Love: A Fruit Always in Season:

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.”

I am listening…
I love it when Dad plays his guitar and sings. So do his grandchildren!

Around the house…
we are preparing to prepare… Lots of signs that Advent is about to begin!

One of my favorite things…
Chubby cheeks and baby toes ♥ So kissable!

A little peek at our Thanksgiving day…

Out of my parents twelve children, ten of us made it home this year for at least part of the day. We weren’t able to get a picture of everyone all together, but we did get some pictures!
I tried to let my niece hold the baby but the first attempt didn’t go too well. I told her we would try again after she nursed… Her expressions are priceless! 

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 


  1. Erin

    I always LOVE seeing the pictures of all your adult siblings. Your sisters are so stunning, and I can just imagine how full your mum's heart would have been to have so many of her children home for Thanksgiving. Your parent's dinning room is so wide to fit two tables in, love how they set it up.

    2017-11-29 22:11:02

  2. Erica

    What a beautiful group of women!

    2017-11-30 03:29:54

  3. Andrea

    All those cute animal blocks remind me of animal crackers. It would make a cute carousel cake or maybe wild animal park.

    2017-11-30 05:27:01

  4. dld

    You, your mother and sisters are so beautiful. Your mum looks so young! I first thought she was one of your sisters!

    2017-11-30 16:21:30

  5. Joan

    Thank You for sharing your Thanksgiving day with your extended family. What a beautiful family. The food your daughtr made looks delicious.. Happy Advent Joan

    2017-11-30 21:41:46

  6. Marion

    Lovely pictures. Thank You for sharing the St.Catherine of Alexandria books and customs. Marion

    2017-11-30 22:55:15

  7. Marilyn

    Thank You for sharing your lovely Thanksgiving with your beautiful family. Chiquita is such a great baker. Her food looks delicious. I will keep your mother in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless. Marilyn

    2017-12-01 01:44:37

  8. Maggie

    A great post! Thank you for continuing to share your family life the way you do. So many blogs seem to have gone in different directions and I really appreciate getting to see your faith in your family life – it helps me in mine – so thank you.

    2017-12-01 03:58:55

  9. Bern

    Every year I struggle with the Jesse tree but these look amazing.

    2017-12-10 00:08:29

  10. Kayla Klontz

    I love the bacon Cinnamon roll idea!

    2017-12-11 21:50:44

  11. Michelle Kishimoto

    I am so inspired by this website every time I visit!

    2017-12-12 02:08:28


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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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