Monday, August 10, 2015

My Daybook :: August 10, 2015

Outside my window...
Smoke!  It's currently fire season out here in the Pacific Northwest...

On July 30th, shortly after getting home from our road trip, we were visiting some friends for the afternoon when my husband sent me these two photos of smoke. He was overseeing a tree marking crew just a couple miles from where the fire was started and could smell it before he was able to see the smoke plume. That evening the fire quickly grew from 600 acres to 6,000 acres. By morning it had buried all of us down here in the valley under a thick layer of smoke.

My husband wasn't available for fires yet (he needed to catch up at the office after being on vacation for most of July, and meet with some contractors) but on Saturday night, after working overtime all day, he changed his status online and received a call from dispatch first thing Sunday morning. He picked up his Thermal Imager Infared device and left early this morning for his assignment - looking for hotspots. This particular fire is now over 22,500 acres and 40% contained.

I am thinking...
I miss him already. Please pray for his safety, and for the safety of all wildland firefighters!

I am thankful... 
that I was able to figure out how to jumpstart the mini-van using the motorhome. We made it to the library just before they closed on the final day of the summer reading program. That was close! 
Learning all the time
The girls pulled back out their State-by-State Notebooks to add pages for Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana following our recent road trip! I have a feeling they'll be adding a few things to my grocery list as well.

Celebrating the liturgical year...
On Sunday we attended the 2015 St. Anthony Festa at the fairgrounds. As always the boys served Mass and we enjoyed the delicious Portuguese meal afterwards. (I was daring and decided to try some of the meat from the Sopas, even though I didn't know how it had been prepared and with what ingredients and seasonings. It looked harmless enough. Bad idea. I'm still recovering.) 

We are also celebrating the feast of St. Clare this week! (It's celebrated on August 11th on the new calendar and August 12th on the traditional calendar.) I was so very excited to see that Regina Martyrum Productions has just released a newly remastered full length story of St. Clare of Assisi! They are also having a 48 hour sale Tuesday and Wednesday for the feasts of St. Philomena and St. Clare of Assisi. During the 2 days if you buy her story you get 40% off the rest of your order with code CLARE40. Now is a great time to build your collection!

You can find additional book suggestions for the feast of St. Clare and other August feasts here.

From the kitchen... 
I finally used my beautiful Cherry Red Dutch Oven made by Staub (it was my Christmas/Birthday/Mother's Day gift) for the first time this past week to brown and then bake some short ribs.

This is my first dutch oven and I'm still learning how to use it... So far I love it!

I am working on... 
  • Little Flowers Notebook Pages - the actual pages are complete, now I need to start working on all the new sample pages...
  • Catholic Digest Quiet Moments/Celebrate submission for November 2015
  • Another blog post for TAN Homeschool
  • A review and giveaway for here at Shower of Roses
  • When did my blogging hobby turn into an actual job?!?  ;) 

I am creating...
Curriculum Plans and Checklists for our 2015-2016 School Year. You can find our past curriculum plans here. So much to do and so little time!

I am going...
to pick up some Hershey Kisses and Rolos to make this year's Patron of Students Back-to-School Treats for my children.

I am hoping...
to get back to posting about our trip! I still have pictures from Grand Teton, Yellowstone, the Catholic Summer Camps, and Captain's birthday to share.  Not to mention other past birthdays, more about my diet, and everything else I'd love to find the time to share on the blog.

I am praying...
the rosary each evening for a special family intention and Daddy's safety.

Sunday night: Meditating on the Coronation with the help of our Sacred Art Series Rosary Flip Book

I am reading…
reviews on High School religion/theology courses and trying to make a decision on what to use for our High Schooler(s) this upcoming school year. Our Quest for Happiness, the Fr. Laux Books (starting with Chief Truths of the Faith), the Didache Series... So many great programs to choose from, I can't decide!

Pondering these words…
from St. Clare of Assisi:

"What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet,
so that even you steps stir up no dust,
go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness..." 

I am listening…
to The Story of the Bible. So well done!

Around the house...
I am dying to show you what Ranger has been working on since April. It is incredible! I was trying to wait for the finished version but, since we may never have enough bricks for that, I might just have to share "phase one" sometime soon.

At a local toy store filling a bag with some more grey LEGO for a special project he has been working on since April!

One of my favorite things...  
morning snuggles.

9:00 am and my little night owl is still working on waking up

This week's plans
Continue enjoying our summer break and our fairly relaxed schedule. It's been a great summer!

A little peek at my day...

Completely content in his little chair with his stack of books.


  1. Thank you for sharing your day! Do you have to close up your house with the smoke? There are no air conditioners here in Alaskan homes, so when we get a forest fire and the smoke blows are way, we have to close everything up and pray for a wind to shift the smoke and of course wonderful rain. I wanted to thank you too! With your past curriculum plans (especially 2014-2015) I was able to figure out a wonderful homeschool plan for my eldest who I am homeschooling again! Squee! My husband is even thinking that my other son should be homeschooled too. You have helped me more that you can imagine! I am thrilled to homeschool again and his time with a local charter school that even opened a branch right down the road from my my boys can ride bikes or sled lol when it starts to snow from Oct. to May for tutoring etc. With your curriculum plan and weekly (past yearly color coding of the different quarters) lessons on Scribd for a 4th grader, I had the confidence to homeschool again. Golly God Bless and keep your husband and all those fighting fires around our nation.

    2015-08-11 08:09:00

    1. I am so glad to hear that my old plans have been helpful and that you've been able to use some of our past checklists! That is so great that you will be homeschooling again! Yay!! Yes, we do have to keep the house closed, and the air conditioner running to filter the air, when the smoke is bad. Each morning I check the Air Quality Index for our area. The first week we had Unhealthy to Hazardous air quality, with a couple little breaks here and there. Right now the forecast is Moderate so it shouldn't be too bad, but we'll still keep everything closed. I've realized the last couple years that the air quality has a huge impact on my anxiety levels - the smoke is a trigger and so was the extra high elevation at certain areas in Yellowstone on our recent trip. At least I can pinpoint the cause, but I'm looking forward to the end of fire season for sure! :)

      2015-08-11 13:36:54

    2. Love the end of fire season! Pardon my bad grammer and use of words, such as using are and not our or nose instead of house....Lol. It was way too late at night to be typing. Take Care!

      2015-08-11 22:54:42

  2. Your life is so full at present! I have all three of those Faith books, feel free to ask me any questions. Also adding to the mix the Beginning Apologetics Set, my teens love them.

    2015-08-11 09:31:23

    1. We love the Beginning Apologetics Set (I used those when I was younger!) and already have them on our shelves! I also have the Christ 101 Apologetics course as well, which I've started using with the boys.

      I was actually considering ordering all three sets so I could at least take a closer look at them and then decide which is the best fit for our oldest son. It seems that many of the homeschool curriculums use the Fr. Laux books in their religion courses - they are what all my younger siblings used as well and I think my husband has one of the books in the series. We already have (and have used) the K-8 books from the same series as Our Quest for Happiness, which are such solid traditional books. I also like the look and format of the newer Didache series, and that they have online resources to go along with the program which would be so helpful for our oldest. Sometimes I really wish I had access to Catholic Homeschool Conferences so I could have the opportunity to see all these great books in person! :)

      2015-08-11 13:50:26

  3. Prayers for your husband. Do you know Father Hathaway, a FSSP priest? Before becoming a priest he did some type of forestry fire fighting I believe. On my To Do list today is order school books, yay!

    2015-08-11 13:13:15

    1. Thanks, Jenny! No, I don't believe I have met Father Hathaway... At least not that I remember. We met many of the FSSP priests at my BIL's ordinations, but I'm horrible at remembering names. Have fun with all your school book orders today!

      2015-08-11 13:53:59

  4. Lifting up prayers for your husband's safety. Thank you for sharing your day!

    2015-08-11 15:30:06

    1. Thank you! He was able to call home this morning and let us all know that he is working the night shift - 16 hour shifts, with 8 hours to rest during the day (9-5) for the next couple weeks. So hard!

      2015-08-11 16:34:16

  5. Prayers for you and your family during the fires!!! Congratulations on doing so well with your eating changes! I am excited to read about your meal choices; I am always looking for healthy meal options. Have you found you can begin to go back to some of the other food selections, or do they negatively affect your health?

    I also look forward to reading your curriculum posts; they always provide such great ideas. I pray you have a wonderful rest of the summer. God bless!

    2015-08-11 17:48:29

  6. Praying for your husband.

    2015-08-12 04:39:17

  7. Growing up in Nevada Co I understand the fire danger experience. Nothing like watching bombers drop only a quarter mile from your house. Prayers for the safety of all your family. If you don't already know about this website, she's great at keeping updates on the fires.

    2015-08-12 16:14:54

  8. Prayers for your husband and all those working on the fires!

    Do you have any idea when the Little Flowers scrapbook pages will be available through Behold Publications's website? I am starting Wreath III this September! I am excited to see how it goes - I was feeling very down since pretty much none of our homeschool families that did the last two years with us are interested any more :( but my own girls really wanted to continue - so I am opening it up to all girls at our parish and have two families expressing interest now! Do you happen to have a photo of one of the completed aprons your group made for Wreath III? I love the idea and was looking to see if I could find a picture of the finished product so we could make them this year, too!

    2015-08-13 14:41:37

  9. Prayers for your husband! I love these posts!! I just wanted to let you know as a homeschool student I love the chief truths books!!! A great program and I learned very much!!!

    2015-08-16 19:57:04

  10. Jessica, I just want to thank you. Here I am making these back-to-school pencil treats and my family acts like I am the greatest mom ever. In reality, its you, your time, and your generosity. I just copied all your templates and whipped them up and reap the benefits of your sacrifices. I wish I could thank you adequately.

    2015-08-18 18:17:35


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