Back-to-School :: 2022-2023

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Back-to-School, Marian, Schultütes | 16 comments

It’s been well over a month now since we started the new school year, but I wanted to go back and add these pictures to the blog anyway. The kids love looking back at the archives to see the pictures from over the years…

Our Back-to-School Schultütes were pretty simple this year – each cone was filled with a new t-shirt and maybe one other thing, to go along with a new planner (high school students) or notebook (younger students) and a chocolate pencil!

I have gotten pretty quick at making the cones with a sheet of 12×12 card stock from my old craft supply stash, some white tissue paper, tape, a stapler, and some ribbon. 

This girl of ours has been taking online dual-enrollment classes from Franciscan over the past year and it was time for her to finally have some college swag of her own! 
She had also just received her acceptance letter from Franciscan for next fall!
She is still undecided and keeping options open at this point.
(This is actually her 4th semester – she took classes last fall, spring and summer and will continue with more classes in the spring. She has been taking additional dual-enrollment classes from another college as well.  I’ll try to blog more about this sometime soon.) 

A toob of WWII Army Men for Bud and, having just recently gotten home from her very first trip to the Ocean, our baby girl received a toob of baby sea animals!  
Some Alphabet Cookie Cutters and a t-shirt for her too (!!) which she was very happy to receive!
(I bought the Toobs and Cookie Cutters at Michaels with coupons.)
And there are those pictures I was missing!

..Back-to-School Pictures..
Chiquita :: 12th Grade 
Scout :: 9th Grade
Summer birthday so last year we decided to postpone high school until this school year.  Mainly for high school sports – he still gets high school credit for completing Algebra 1/Biology/etc last year – giving him four years starting this year to compete with the local high school.  He just finished golf season!  I’d rather not send any more 17 (or barely 18) year olds away to college. 

High School Golf Pictures 

Rose :: 7th Grade 
Bud :: 5th Grade 
Grace :: Kindergarten
With her summer birthday she may end up doing two years of Kindergarten.  I suspect she may have dyslexia/auditory processing challenges like her lookalike/oldest brother/godfather. I’d much rather hold her back and have her and her little sister go through school, particularly high school, together like our oldest two boys. We’ll see how it goes! Definitely thankful for the option of home educating and not really needing to define grade levels until they want to compete in high-school sports!
Joy :: Preschool
.: College Kids :. 

Even the boys sent me back to school pictures. Senior year!!! 
Our oldest is an RA this semester and also loving his internship. 
And our 20 year old will be DONE by Christmas break (a semester early) after a crazy 20 credit semester (including his capstone/thesis) all with his right hand in a (now at least removable) cast while recovering from a scaphoid break/surgery. Whew! He’ll return to campus in April for graduation with his older brother.
Our oldest daughter is taking a stop-gap for now and has been working and studying hard for her Insurance license. If you live in OR/WA/ID and would be willing to let her give you a free (no obligation) Home or Auto quote she would really love the extra practice!
September 4th – Just before driving him to the airport.  Our oldest had left a week earlier for RA training… missed getting a picture of everyone before summer camp started for the youngest two boys. 
Our oldest also picked up my slack by getting his brother/roommate back to school treats too! He sent me this picture and it made me so happy.  I loved some of the things he came up with when browsing the aisles at the grocery store! He said he was remembering back to this year.. #oldestchild
One FOOT in front of the other 🙂  – MOTTSIVATION
 Trident Your Best!!! – S’more Pop Tarts To HELP you study S’more 🙂 

.: Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary :. 

We ended the celebration with a birthday cake for our Blessed Mother! 
This sweet statue was a gift a friend brought me from her visit to Lisieux a few years ago. It’s a little replica of the Martin family’s treasured statue, “Our Lady of the Smile.”

What a joy to remember that she [Mary] is our Mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?

– St. Therese of Lisieux


  1. Anonymous

    You spoke of having your son wait an additional year to start HS. One of my biggest regrets was not holding our 2nd son back a year (June birthday) but I would add he has come into his own but in early 20s. Talked at length with my DIL about grandchild #3 (July birthday). Repeated 1st grade, now in 6th. He is 110% on top of his game, spiritually, maturity, academically. Biased, but I believe younger boys sincerely benefit.

  2. Jessica Gordon

    I totally agree! Our oldest repeated 2nd grade and graduated high school just before turning 19. Our 2nd skipped 8th grade and even though he was academically ready for high school, and I loved that the boys were able to go to college together, he was always the smallest Freshman on his teams and at college younger than everyone in all his classes. That extra year for growth/maturity/etc (and even just the time to figure out what he wanted to study in college) would have been really helpful. He's ending up with a degree that isn't what he wanted (pandemic sure didn't help things) but he also didn't want to basically start over when he transferred colleges. Instead of adding on additional years, he opted to finish Philosophy (with minors in Classics, Theology and maybe Politics) a semester early. We've told him to just look at his BA as more of an extension of high school (he'll have it at 20!) and he is planning to hopefully go on to grad school for a Master's in the degree he really wants (Architecture) adding a year to grad school (for their 3 year program) instead of adding time as an undergrad. It all has me thinking more about what to do with son #3!

  3. Anonymous

    I am so happy to hear one of your children have been looking into Franciscan University. It's an amazing campus and I could certainly see her loving it..if she chooses to go there. What an amazing opportunity to be taking dual enrollment classes!

  4. Jessica Gordon

    She is most interested in their Austria semester and trying to talk her older sister into going with her! 🙂

  5. Anonymous

    My son is a senior there, and he went to Austria last fall! In spite of some irritating European Covid requirements, he had a blast! The professors, both there and stateside, are awesome! Such a great school!

  6. Anonymous

    We just toured Benedictine and are going next week to tour Steubenville. Very excited and will probably be making a decision very soon!

  7. Anne

    So lovely to see you posting again! You've been such an inspiration and source of encouragement since I started our homeschool journey in earnest some 11 years ago. Now that I'm in the teen down to newborn role of parenthood I especially appreciate seeing how other Catholic families are living this out!!

  8. Anne

    PS Would love to hear more about dual enrollment and how that's been working for you!

  9. Anonymous

    Thank you for the update. I enjoy seeing the children and how they have grown from year to year. Those cones you make are so nice. Your children and young adults are an inspiration to all. God Bless you and your family.

  10. Anonymous

    Thank you Jessica for sharing the plans and doings of your children as a new school year starts. You have a beautiful family.
    God Bless

  11. Anonymous

    Your family is lovely. Thank you for sharing the updates on them.

  12. Terra

    I like seeing all the photos of your happy children, you are doing a great parenting work, I can tell.

  13. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your homeschool journey. Could you please share more of how you do the high school years? We are just entering into that phase, so overwhelming!

  14. Jamie Salvucci

    I am struggling with this with my oldest (son). He will graduate at 17…could probably graduate at 16. Academically he does great. He is advanced academically. He is otherwise immature though. He will likely need to take a year (or two??) to work before he is ready maturity wise to go to college.

  15. Tara-Marie Chapman

    Our son is looking at Franciscan University of Steubenville, would love to hear what your son loves about the college.


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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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