Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Little Blessings

It seems like lately, more often than not, I wonder if I should quit blogging, at least publicly. Is it worth all the time that it takes?  Is it worth all the negative/rude comments? (I moderate all comments now and usually delete any that are an attack on me, my family or my visitors.  Occasionally I do decide to respond.)  Is it worth seeing my family's pictures taken without permission, even turned into memes and shared all over the internet?  Does the blog make a difference? Every time I start to pray about whether or not I should continue, God sends a little sign that it does indeed make a difference in so many more ways than I have even considered. Last week that sign came from the VP of Publishing at TAN Books! Here is a little excerpt from his email (which also included a generous gift card!) that totally made my day:

"...In my search to learn more [about Neumann Press' titles], I stumbled upon your blog, filled with beautiful pictures of the titles. My entire team gathered around the conference room and our big screen TV and looked carefully at each picture you featured. I can not tell you how helpful this was. Your blog helped solidified in me a decision to reach out to the McCoy family and to learn about the company..."


I had absolutely no idea, but I am so glad that I was able to play a small part in keeping the treasures from Neumann Press available! God is Good!

And as of today Shower of Roses is officially an affiliate for TAN Books!  Have you pre-ordered any of the Neumann Press children's books for Christmas yet?!   :)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

88 comments:

  1. What an amazing response from TAN! Congratulations.

    I stumbled upon your blog less than a year ago, and it is my favorite one to go to. I am grateful that I have a resource that has many, many traditional (with TLM!!) references, and I can confidently refer friends and family to this site. I used to spend so much time researching all over the internet, trying to find ideas to incorporate our faith into our daily lives. I have used so many ideas for homeschooling, celebrating (actually CELEBRATING!!) the liturgical year, and many more. What touched me the most was your stories about your sweet babies in Heaven, as I have had similar experiences. I want to thank you for sharing how your faith carried you through that. I can also understand why you would consider even stopping the blog, but know that you would be missed by this mom. Your blog has brought my home to life with all your ideas. Thank you, thank you...

    Blessings and prayers,
    Marisa M.

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  2. Dear Jessica, please know that your blog is so very helpful, informative, and just a joy to visit. If you decided to stop blogging, I would be sad, and I know many others would be as well. You would be terribly missed! I have never found another 'Catholic Mom' blog I like as much as yours, and I have learned a lot from and been very inspired by you. May God bless you and your family.

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  3. Jessica, I want to assure you that what you do is such a great value to so many of us out here. I read every one of your blog posts and implement so many of your wonderful ideas. I put together our community All Saints party last year using many of the ideas from your All Saints posts. One lady showed up to the party and said excitedly to me, "Do you read Shower of Roses' blog?" She recognized some of the games, specifically the St. Martha's Cake Walk. I tell you this just so you know that even out here in Georgia people are reading your blog and valuing all you put into it.
    There is no question about the demands of a large homeschooling family (I have 8 of my own) so I completely understand the days of wanting to give it up especially if people are uncharitable in their comments. However, that's the minority. There will always be negative people. What I do know is that you have helped this convert come to understand so much of the Catholic faith and share fun activities with my children since I don't have a pool of personal experience to pull from. You are doing an amazing job! Thank you and God Bless you!!!

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  4. That's awesome! I honestly didn't know about Neumann press until you started posting pictures of their books. And by the time I saw a few of their books that I had to have on your blog I was already too late. Ugh! I was thrilled when TAN popped up on my FB feed earlier this week with their announcement that they were taking overing the Neumann Press books. I've already pre-ordered some from them. TAN is such a great company with solidly Catholic books. I love their Treasure Box books and several of their other books that are geared to adults. Now if only I could find a way to get on their book reviewer list!

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  5. I would like you to know that I am a huge fan of your blog and so thankful for it. I came upon your blog two years ago, just as I was beginning to think about homeschooling. It has been such an inspiration for me. You have taught me so much about our Catholic faith and how to celebrate and pass it on to our children. THANK YOU!! Your blog is a real ministry. Prayers are being said for you and your family here in our home.

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  6. Oh! I would be so sad if your blog were gone! I know there are others, many others, but yours, frankly, is just the best at what you do, you know? This isn't to take anything at all away from other blogs I read and love...but some are really standouts in what they do and yours is one of them...I totally would understand if it just became too much to handle, but, selfishly, I hope you stay around. :)

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  7. Jessica, you know how I feel PLEASE do not stop - you are a light, inspiration and truly a gift. Keep it up! I'm so proud that Tan is going to be an affiliate I truly love Neumann Press and Tan books

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  8. I can well understand why you would consider stopping your blog. However, I would miss it because I love reading it and it has so many beautiful ideas on living the Church Year and homeschooling!

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  9. I'm so glad TAN reached out to you and that it was an encouragement to you! I would never have known about them taking over Neumann Press if it weren't for you -- and I'm so glad they have! I will be sure to shop through your link for gifts this Christmas. :) God Bless!

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  10. No, no, no, don't stop! I treasure your posts! It's so wonderful to see a family that lives positively and focused on what matters in the life!

    Congratulations on being an affiliate!

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  11. I love your blog and never miss a post. Pease don,t stop blogging! :-)

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  12. That's fantastic! I love your blog!

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  13. I love your blog! It was very influential in my conversion and many of girlfriends and I get so much inspiration from your posts! We were excited to learn about Tan books from your recent post!

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  14. What an amazing testament to your value to the Catholic blogosphere--such a great story! You helped keep Neumann Press books in print!! That is awesome.

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  15. Awesome! What an amazing confirmation of all that you do. So happy for you, sweet friend.

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  16. No! No! No! No!! Lol. Please don't stop blogging!!! I love your blog and read all your posts ... I assure you that your blog does make a difference. Please never stop; you would be terribly missed! :-)

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  17. This is my favorite blog and I'd certainly be without a valuable resource if you weren't here. Thank you for blogging!

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  18. I prayed quite a bit about Neumann Press this summer - begging God for a solution. I am so grateful to Him that He was able to use your words and images to answer my prayer, May God reward your faithfulness abundantly.

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  19. I'm currently going through RCIA and attending a weekly Latin Mass. Your blog has been such a source of information and inspiration as I try to figure out this faith, and how to create a Domestic Church. Truly, thank you and God bless you for all the work you do on this blog, sharing your family and faith with the world. I don't think you will ever know the full impact of this blog . . .

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  20. The news about Tan Books is wonderful!!! I agree with the other comments. You are my favorite blog---you are so inspiring and such a great example of living your life for Christ. Thank you for that! I always wonder how you keep up with the blog and your family, but you seem to do such a great job. May God bless you always for you generosity and kindness. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  21. Coming out of lurking to tell you please not to quit blogging! We've used many of your ideas, you are such a blessing to many of us who homeschool. May the Lord bless you abundantly.

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  22. Jennifer,
    Congrats and a little advise. We are going to continue to get nasty emails from other who simply either hate God or Catholics. We have a mission here on earth and your is obvious and a beautiful one. I'm so happy for you but, please be careful about Pride. He is evil and many times I get caught in his temptation. Now that you have Tan behind, pray more for humility than ever before. In regards to using your children pictures, I would be careful about this. I never post pictures of my children because of the evil that exist in this world. It's a sign of humility I guess if you do not post them? I do not know for sure. You are doing a great job in spreading the love of God. I think many homeschool mothers like us need support from each other. It's what keeps us going. We have a Catholic homeschool group in Miami of about 80 family and MANY are aware of your blog and love it, including myself. Listen to God and not to men is my desire to you. No matter how enticing it may be, God ultimately gets the final word. May God Bless you on all that you do!

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  23. Oh, Jessica! What a beautiful confirmation of the blessed work you do here on the blog! I'm so happy for you!
    I had been praying about Neumann Press finding someone to take over their work - I added it to the St. Jude novena intentions at church as we pray the St. Jude prayer every Wednesday after Mass. Thank you St. Jude! Thank you Jessica!
    And remember, this is one of the instances where God allows you to 'see' with your eyes here on earth the fruit of your good (and hard and time consuming and sometimes frustrating) work. I'm sure there is so, so much more good fruit that you will never know of this side of heaven! God bless you all!

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  24. I have been a follower of your blog for the last four years. You have brought into mine and my family life a lot of joy and ideas. The Little Flowers girl club is a God send for little girls, including mine. Don't ever doubt the work that you are doing, here in the cyberspace. Those doubts, and rude comments, is just devil speaking. Don't give him the satisfaction of quitting something so beautiful and meaningful!!!

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  25. Jessica, that same thing happens to me (though not quite such a huge confirmation). I think I've had it, I'm done and I'll get one tiny little email from someone I never knew, saying your blog makes a difference. What a beautiful image your new friend has created -- a group of faithful business leaders viewing your family as an example of our great body of Christ. How emotional you must have been! God bless you, and keep up the good work. We love you!

    PS I have that beautiful edition of True Devotion -- I love that cover!

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  26. That is wonderful !! Please keep blogging

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  27. Yay! So happy for you, Jessica! Isn't it amazing how God shows us the value of our works? They're even more exciting and full of reward when they come like this one - a true lightening bolt! Thanks for all you do for the Catholic retailing community! :)

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  28. I am very grateful for your blog. I understand your concern, I used to have a youtube channel to share about my conversion, but when I got pregnant with my daughter I suddenly became much more concerned about my, and more importantly her, privacy. Your blog is so beautiful and inspirational though, I hope that you continue. You inspire me to perhaps keep a blog someday to share about my own growing family :)

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  29. You are a trusted resource for many Catholic homeschoolers - please do not give it up!

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  30. Jessica,

    I really want you to know what an inspiration you have been to me over the last couple of months. I have always tried to live the liturgical year with my children and have always worked hard to make my home beautiful for my kids. You know what I mean...lit candles at dinner, beautiful art work, great coloring supplies so they could create art, beautiful food, etc. When I ran across your blog I was amazed at all that you do. I have to admit that I have spent the past few months gleaning information from your blog. What a wealth of knowledge you so selflessly provide!!!! Your family is beautiful and you have opened my eyes to so many wonderful resources that have allowed me to enhance the beauty in my home. Thank you for all that you so willingly share and the time that you give to so many other devoted Catholic mothers.

    May God Bless you in your efforts!

    Melisa Burke

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  31. Jessica
    If I had to reduce my blog reading list to ten (currently 30) you would be in my top 5! You are such an inspiration and wealth of knowledge, and too for your own family your blog is a wonderful memory scrapbook to treasure. You are so very generous and your generosity is much appreciated{{}} (mind you it would really burn me to have my pictures taken and posted around the internet, if only there was a code to embed and stop that!!)
    So very awesome about the email from TAN, that would really make your year!!! off to write and see what their postage to Australia is like. Oh and I agree with TAN I kept going back to that post myself and looking at the titles you featured (and dreaming)
    So thrilled they have decided to keep the nuemann press books (and at a reduced cost!) and to know you played a part!:)

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  32. Dear Jessica,
    Thank-you so much for your blog. I am a mother of older children and seasoned home schooler. Your blog has been a source of encouragement and ideas. I am a Protestant who enjoys your blog very much. I have been inspired to do the State-by-State Scrap-booking with my grandsons. I fell in love with the books you were using and am now acquiring my own library. You reminded me in one of your blogs about the Holling C. Holling books so I am using them with the scrap-booking idea and Andrew Pudewa's writing curriculum. What a journey God has me on just from reading your blog. He even has me writing a geography curriculum using the Province-by-Province for Canada books to teach to my grandsons, youngest son,and 5 other home schooled children. Thank-you so much. May God Bless you abundantly.

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  33. Are your photos water-marked? I use photoshop and it's very easy to do. One more step, I suppose. Maybe you could delegate that step to one of the older kids?
    I'm sorry you have to battle with stuff like this. I am so inspired by all that you share and do hope that you'll continue.

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  34. Jessica, I always marvel at how wonderful your posts are and how much time and effort must be spent in putting them together. Please know that I read each and every post and enjoy keeping up with you and your beautiful family.

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  35. Please never stop blogging. I feel like I have so much in common with you... Only a younger family. FSSP brother in law, considering homeschooling with the help of tutors, want a big family/to be open to life (currently pregnant with #3 and I have a 1 1/2 yr old and 3 yr old). And I love seeing your happy/friendly kids with big smiles and cute (modest) dresses/skirts. Also I am not super crafty but
    I pin your crafts/food ideas for birthdays/feast days and really like your book recommendations. Anyway I am a new follower but you are one of my top 3 blogs that make me feel like I can do it as a young catholic mom and there is an achievable goal in sight (happy catholic kids). The other 2 I love are likemotherlikedaughter and mychildiloveyou. But yours definitely has its own personality that is irreplaceable.

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  36. Dear Jessica,
    I LOVE your blog so much and I am so thankful that you do blog! I have 4 young children and we are just beginning our journey with homeschooling. I grew up catholic but several years ago I wondered from the church. I felt uneducated and thought that maybe I could find a deeper faith through other "churches." Your blog is one of the things that brought me back "home" and I just want to thank you for that! I don't comment often, but I follow your blog and have learned so much about our faith and homeschooling from you! :)
    Corey Brock

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  37. Dear Jessica,

    You've no idea how important your blog is to so many people. I'm sure there are many Catholic, homeschooling families out there that don't know any other families who are striving to become saints and help their families become saints like you are trying to do. To them, your blog is evidence that their are not the only "weird" people in the eyes of the world. As for me, I have no idea what I would do without your blog. I have gotten so many great ideas from you and I would be so disappointed if you ever decided to quit. It's too bad that you have to deal with rude and uncharitable comments and emails, but please know that there are so many lives being affected by your blog. So please continue to be such a tremendous example to the rest of us and God bless you for your efforts!

    Melanie

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  38. Dear Jessica, I am a long time anon reader, and I thoroughly enjoy your blog. You inspire me with your familys obvious deep faith, and really encourage me with all your beautiful shining faces. You are a gifted mother and blogger. If you need to stop blogging for your own personal reasons, by all means, you should, but know this, you are touching peoples hearts in a wonderful way. So don't let negativity and rude comments get to you. Hold your head up high and carry on. You are doing a truly wonderful thing. May God Bless you!
    Jennifer in Grand Rapids Mi

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  39. Jessica, I want you to know that your blog is very important to me, I wish I could tell you how much it has changed my life in so many ways, please don't stop blogging. It is just so wonderful to find mom's that think the way I do! It is hard to have a big family in these times and find people that share the same faith, I thank God for your blog.

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  40. Jessica,
    How hard it's getting to practice our Catholic life. From Mass, school, even grocery shopping, right down to blogging. Your blog, my dear Catholic friend, is where I sit with a cup of coffee at the end of a tiring, homeschooling large family life, and relax. The beauty lifts my soul and fills my tired spirit with joy. Which ever you discern, we will keep you and yours in our family rosary. Love to you and all who enjoy your blog.
    Lorelei

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  41. Jessica, Thank you for your faith filled blog. I appreciate your witness to the Truth. I pray God blesses you and your family here on earth and forever in heaven with Him. Lori

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  42. Hi Jessica, I don't always comment, but I love to read your blog. I have been inspired by something you've posted too many times to count. I hope and pray that you will continue to do what you've been doing.

    Congratulations on the acknowledgement from Tan Books. What a blessing!

    As for your photos, I don't know if you've used this or not, but you can use picmonkey to add text to your photos to make them less desirable to steal. I know it will take a little more time to do, but it may be worth checking out.

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  43. God never promised it'd be easy

    John 5:18
    "If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me first. If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you like it loves its own ...

    So long as blogging doesn't interfere with your family unit and their time, your sharing will be spiritually incalculable to other young mothers.

    A grandmother

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  44. Hi Jessica, I would also like to add how invaluable your blog is to me. For many years I have used this blog as a resource for my family. My children attend a Catholic school but I find it's not enough and knowing I can drop by your blog , helps me reinforce aspects of their faith that just are not being addressed at school. I can't tell you how much your posts have meant to me, please don't be disheartened. You are making bigger footprints than you think
    Catherine - Australia

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  45. Jessica

    I too (like so many others as evidenced by these comments) get so much inspiration in my role as Catholic mom from your blog. When I go to my e-mail Shower of Roses is always the first one that I open. Thank you :)

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  46. Jessica,
    Your blog is the reason I went back to the Catholic church, so my whole family has benefited from you! I hope that you continue to blog and inspire others. I have learned more on your blog than any book, and even the Catholic school I attended. You are a blessing to me and so many others.
    God bless,
    Katherine

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  47. Dear Jessica, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep blogging. You always have such awesome ideas and you really are such a motivator to keep working at living the liturgical year in our home. THANK YOU! Congratulations on the TAN affiliation.

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  48. Dearest Jessica, when we're attacked...it's usually because we're doing what we're suppose to. I will pray for you, your family, and for spiritual protection. thank you for all you do and share. God bless you sweet soul.

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  49. I love your blog. It is such a beautiful and inspiring way to look at our Catholic faith.
    God bless you, and your family. Ann

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  50. Jessica, I have to shamefully admit I had never purchased a book from Neumann press until I saw your post that they were closing down. I say shamefully because I went to school with and know so many of the McCoys that I should have purchased sooner. I chose to purchase once I saw your post because your pictures really captured the traditional settings of all of the childrens books. Your pictures literally inspired me to say "I would love to show this to my children so they can see catholic settings in a traditional style". I am so thrilled that TAN has chosen you to be an affiliate because you are a great advocate in this way. I know it can be tough keeping up with the blog especially with a large family and homeschooling. I pray you never stop blogging though. I read two blog religiously and yours is one and I get such inspiration from you to keep my children well informed of feast days saint days and activities all because of you. You put these events in simple understandable ways for children that is make my job as a catholic parent so much easier. God Bless you and your work and I pray regularly that your reward for helping so many parents keep their kids catholic will be rewarded.

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  51. Jessica, I saw the Catholic Meme and recognized your beautiful children right away. I thought the costumes were gorgeous and in one fell photograph, you've preached about the beauty of All Saints Day celebration instead of the more popular trend to go Halloween. I did read a negative comment about it, wanted to reply, but didn't know if what I was saying about me was also true about you so I just blogged about it. Your blog is an inspiration not just to me but to many others who share our love for the Catholic culture. There will always be critics (especially for us who write about controversial topics) and like you, I constantly discern whether to continue writing or not and keep getting encouraging signs just when I'm ready to throw in the towel. Consider this as an encouraging comment. Your blog makes a difference in our family. Specifically, we've been inspired to carve religious symbols on pumpkins as you've been showing us. You've turned up our creativity a notch and we are loving the pumpkin seeds as well as the pumpkin designing process. Thank you!

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  52. I for one am glad you are taking on sponsors. I hope your blog generates enough money your family can live entirely off its revenue. Then you and your husband can sell your house and move next door to an FSSP parish.

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  53. Just wanted to send a note to say I am one of those readers who never comments but your blog has been instrumental in our homeschooling! I can't count the times I have been discouraged and came to you blog and it has encouraged me to go on home schooling. I have six kids that are all about a year younger than yours so I can so relate to your state in life. Thank you for your public blog even when it is difficult. You are a true inspiration!! God Bless

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  54. Hi Jessica - Please don't stop blogging! I cannot tell you how your blog has inspired me to enrich the faith of my own public school educated children and my CCD class. This blog is a true example of evangelism in our age. You are doing a beautiful job. I was blessed with a good Catholic school education - in the old style. Something that I wish I could give my kids- but special needs have led us to a good public school - and I teach CCD and extra to my own 4. You have inspired CCD class and home projects, great book choices for home - and introduced me to my sons' new favorite board game - Settlers of Catan! You even inspired us to seek out a Latin Mass! (It is too far away to go regularly - but it was so lovely to introduce it to our kids - and my husband and I got to test out our high school Latin - which neither of our fantastic Catholic High Schools still require.) Thank you for all you do - and please believe that the good you do is so much more than the small and rude remarks from others. God Bless. Know you and your family are in my family's prayers.

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  55. Congratulations! You are such an inspiration to me. I love the ways that you celebrate the liturgical year and I know it has inspired me to add little feast day celebrations into our home as well. As a convert I often feel lost trying to raise my children Catholic, because I wasn't raised that way. Your blog is a beautiful space of encouragement and inspiration!

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  56. I read your blog most days from here in the UK but rarely comment. All your posts and pictures are such a blessing though and I'm sure inspire many more people than you realise. Just today I saw the Halloween meme of your little ones in their saints gear and must say thought it was quite encouraging really. I am sure the friend who shared it on Facebook has never read your blog but it is obvious just from the photo the kind of family you are raising, and you are doing it right. I can see that people taking and using your photos without permission can be hurtful but it can be encouraging too.
    God bless you and your famil

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  57. That is wonderful Jessica!

    Those that are cruel often lash out from their own pain and insecurities. While it does not make what they do ok or acceptable, we can struggle to pray for them and that God will lighten their hearts. Envy and jealousy can be so deceptive!

    God bless you, my friend, and your beautiful blog. Give the burden of any stress it gives you to God, your blog does help others and inspire.

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  58. Dear Jessica,

    I hope all of these comments give you further confirmation that your blog truly does make a difference! I'm not Catholic, but I found your blog a few years ago in a search for some projects for my Sunday school class. I'm so impressed and inspired by your devotion to your faith and your vocation. I always appreciate your reminders of how to live life with grace. I am sorry, though, that you've had to endure negativity along the way. Blessings to your family. take care, Alysha

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  59. I'm glad TAN books will be your affiliate! Congratulations!! Thanks for all your hard work on this blog. I was going to sit down this weekend and with your blog as my starting point, I am going to plan Christmas wish lists to send out to relatives who want to buy stuff for my kids and I am going to plan my menu through the holidays. I am having surgery December 12th so I need to plan everything ahead of time this year. (Another long story of miracles and blessings.) Also, I have 4 boys, but I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to start a local Little Flowers club! Thank you so much for all the resources, ideas, and inspiration that you give us!! I am sure that it is a lot of time and work to monitor all those comments.

    May God grant you many more blessings!

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  60. I have never commented here before, but wanted to say: You have a beautiful family and a lovely blog. I am so disappointed to find that some individuals can be so ugly! I will keep you, your family, and your blogging discernment in my prayers.

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  61. Your family brings such joy to my homeschooled children and me. It's so important for all of us to stand together, even if it's just through a blog! This is what my husband quotes very often when he is being tested! (and we are not super big on quoting bible verses, but this one does help!)
    "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4.

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  62. What a neat blessing from Tan books! Thanks for continuing to share with us through your blog ~ so much light & beauty shines through your work here, and through your home/family. You have a *very* special gift in what you do here! I will continue keep you & your family in my prayers! God bless!

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  63. I am so sorry that you are being persecuted in this way. I will pray. Thank you so very much for all that you offer here and congratulations! What a compliment to have TAN books notice!!!! I would be very sad to not have your blog as a resource as we plan the liturgical year in our home.
    ~lisa

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  64. Jessica - to echo the wonderful chorus of the many comments - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! For all that you do...to numerous to mention You are truly an inspiration and bring such joy to so many. My only regret is that I already placed a large order with TAN for some of the Neumann Press books the same day I saw the announcement!!!! They are on backorder, but I am looking forward to getting them whenever they come. But if I purchase anymore - which is most definitely, I will go through your affiliate link for sure!!! God Bless you and Go FORTH and BE A SAINT!!!

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  65. Hi! I am a brazilian woman and I really appreciate your blog. It's amazing! :)
    God bless you and all your little saints!

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  66. Hello Jessica,

    I often read your blog, but almost never comment. I think it's great that you share this beautiful bits of your lives with others. Somehow it gives hope, that the world it not all that bad, as it seems from all around... And all those rude comments - i know it must be hard for you, but you know, how people can be when the are jealous... I'll remember about you and your family in my prayers. Please, please, don`t give up blogging.

    Regards from Munich :)

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  67. Dear Jessica,
    I would like to say that what you share in your blog has touched the hearts of so many people and I know that my life is much richer since I found your wonderful blog two years ago. Our family's liturgical year is so much more special because of you and your willingness to share your most unique and creative ideas with each of the devout Catholics that read your beautiful blog. Jessica you have answered the call of our dearest most recent three Holy Fathers to evangelize our beautiful Catholic faith and I do believe in my heart that your blog is the vessel that God has chosen for you to spread His wonderful message of our Dear Lord and Our Lady's precious love for each of us. Not only do I enjoy reading your blog but I also enjoy reading the comments from the other ladies that take the time to write to you and I believe that your sharing of your special family moments throughout the liturgical year are enjoyed and are "borrowed from your blog" in a pure Christian way so that they can give more joy to their families in celebrating each Saint's Feast Day and each Holy Season. You have inspired so many with your blog and it would be such a shame to stop sharing your incredible Catholic faith in this way. I thank you Jessica with heartfelt wishes for all of the work that you do in creating and maintaining your most touching blog-- which I can only imagine is very time consuming with such a large family to care for... but yet you take the time to share a little of yourself with all of us each week and fill us with inspiration to share with our own special families. I also commend you for the wonderful mother that you are in homeschooling your sweet children. You have been passing on to each of them the most precious gifts of love and nurturing and motherly devotion and molding them into such special children teaching them daily about our beautiful Catholic faith along with teaching them basic skills in life such as writing, drawing, cooking, sewing, household tasks and most especially personal responsibility. May you and your family continue to feel God's richest blessings in your lives.
    Most Sincerely, Debbie

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  68. Jessica, I just have to echo so many of the comments here. Please don't give up blogging! Your family is such a wonderful witness to the Catholic faith. Your blog is my go-to resource for living the liturgical year, book recommendations, homeschooling tips & curriculum, recipes to celebrate feast days, etc., etc., etc. You are a shining light is what is becoming a dark world. And I'm so pleased about TAN publishing. I just started using RC History this year and was unable to find some of the books because of Neumann Press closing. Keep up the good work!
    Sincerely, Kim

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  69. Dear Jessica
    I am a Mother of 5 between the ages of 1 and 8 years and I do find your blog truly inspiring. I admire you for all you manage to do and all the brilliant Ideas to keep the faith the centre of our lives. It is wonderful to see that one is not the only one out there trying hard... May God bless and repay you and your family a thousand times for all your efforts!!!

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  70. I am continually amazed and inspired by you and your blog. Thank you for your hard work and generosity! You are an inspiration to us all. You have a genuine and effective apostolate in blogging. God bless you and your beautiful family!!! Keep up the GOD work! =)

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  71. I am truly sorry that there are those who would take the time to post negative comments (they certainly have the option of not visiting your blog). I, on the other hand, have gained much inspiration from your blog. God has blessed you with special gifts and talents that we have all been blessed by. You have a wonderfully giving spirit - sharing your gifts and talents with all of us. You have inspired me to find more creative ways of celebrating the faith with my children. You will be in my prayers as you discern what is best for you and your family. I personally would love for you to continue blogging - but I realize how difficult it must be to put yourself and your family "out there". I am truly grateful that I came across your blog, and will be a continued "visitor" as long as you choose to continue. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with all of us.

    Blessings,
    RMann

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  72. Dear Jessica,
    So excited for you being an affiliate of TAN Books!!!! I have been religiously following your blog for almost a year now and I can't tell you how much it has made a difference in our home. Last Advent was our most fruitful and it was mainly from following a lot of your ideas. This year is the first time I've really tried to celebrate the liturgical year and all my inspiration comes form you. I'm always impressed with how much love you put into all that you do, and I hope to be able to capture a little bit of that for my family. Your love for your Catholic faith and in teaching/living it with your family is so incredibly beautiful, inspiring, and contagious that I hope and pray to be able to do the same for my family. You are an incredibly gifted woman and I admire you so much and would miss you terribly if you were to stop blogging. May God always, and continually bless you and your beautiful family.
    Sincerely, Marie

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    1. When I told my husband that you were thinking of not blogging anymore, his immediate response was "What! What will you do without it?" LOL!

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  73. I just want to tell you that. I follow your post from Brazil and I miss them when you take little longer to do so. It is a refreshing moment of my day to read your pious writting and a blessing to see your children's smile! God bless you!

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  74. Jessica, I was just thinking today about how many things I have learned about celebrating my faith through your blog, and then I saw your post! I understand it must be a huge undertaking for you, and if it is too much you need to do what is best for your family. I would certainly miss it - yours is my favorite. You are so creative and inspring! Thank you for all you have shared - I'm sorry for the negative and rude comments you receive. God bless you! Jackie

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  75. Oh Jessica, I am so thankful you received this beautiful confirmation! And, if you decide to sell Usborne books again, you can count on some sales from the East Coast! You are an inspiration to all of us, don't forget that! God Bless, Joene

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  76. I am SO thrilled that you are now a TAN affiliate and I will always stop here first to click through. One thing I worry about when I order from Amazon is that I put a lot of it on my Wish List. I am always curious if the benefit caries over to the time when I finally order. We totally support you, because you are doing so much good. As the VP of Publishing at TAN so rightly pointed out, you have an amazing ability to present things in a very appealing manner. That goes for your entire blog. A lot of people have commented already that you have made a marked difference in how they raise their children, or implement the Faith in their homes by developing their Domestic Churches. Long ago this was common, but it is a lost piece of Catholic family life. We need people like you to show and remind us how to teach the little ones, so that they grow into faithful Catholics who will do the same in the future with their own families. That being said, I can't imagine how difficult it is to blog through thick and thin. I hope God continues to give you that grace! Thank you for all that you do! God bless you! - Genevieve

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  77. Just when I said I wasn't buying any more books for Christmas....lol
    Jessica, you are a treasure and I know blogging is a lot of work for you, but it is such a blessing to others. You have an amazing gift to share. I am thankful to have you as an inspiration and a friend.

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  78. That is awesome, Jessica! I know how time-consuming blogging is, and I can't imagine how it must feel having your photos all over the internet (without permission) ... Your blog is a go-to for many, because you have such good ideas for making the Faith come alive for children and families, and your love for the Lord and the Church shines through in your ideas! Your are an instrument that God is using to evangelize! With that will come some pain, unfortunately, but hopefully His blessings of grace will overshadow any negative nellies that are out there. I am sure you keep this calling to blog in your prayer and in your conversations with your husband. The Lord will continue to speak to you and guide you through prayer and through your husband, so trust in that (as I'm sure you already do)! God bless you and your beautiful family! Happy All Saints Day!

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  79. Jessica I found your blog a few years ago when I was searching for Jesse Tree ideas. Your blog has made a world of difference to my family. I have gotten so much inspiration from you. There are many celebrations we probably would have skipped over if your blog hadn't been around to give me such wonderful ideas. Don't let the negative people get you down. You are making the world a better place with your blog!

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  80. Hi Jessica, I just wanted to let you know how much I love and appreciate your blog. We are not Catholic, but High Anglican; we have become so much more engaged with the liturgical aspect of our faith since I found your blog and it's been a real blessing. There will always be those who are critical, even hurtful, but there are usually so many more who are encouraging and appreciative. I hope you do decide that your blog should continue! Many, many thanks, all the way from the UK xxx

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  81. Jessica,

    I know you have received many encouraging messages already, so I am probably not going to say anything you haven't already heard. Nonetheless, I wanted to add my encouragement to the many others who have written. If you need a break for your family's sake, I completely understand and encourage you to do what God calls you to do. I want you to know that I enjoy your blog immensely. As a home school mother who has two part-time jobs, I have been grateful for the many ideas you have shared. You have saved me a great deal of time searching for ideas for celebrating the liturgical year and making birthdays and celebratory days for the sacraments special for our children. I almost always find what I am looking for on your site!

    Thank you and God bless.

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  82. You've done the impossible. You've gotten me to post a comment on a blog. This is a first! THANK YOU for blogging about your beautiful Catholic family! I understand your concerns about continuing to blog (although I can't imagine how anyone who would find your site could have anything negative to say about you and your family), but your doing so is a source of hope for those who do not see many signs of hope in the world around them (sadly even in their own parishes and dioceses).
    A while ago I was planning to order a few Neumann Press titles for my nephews (ages 1.5 and 4). Well, I kept putting it off as I tried to decide what titles to start with and the next thing I knew they were closing their doors. I teach Sunday School at my parish and I spend a lot of time reworking the material in the texts to make it say something meaningful and unambiguously Catholic, so I know what a great resource those dusty old books that Neumann reprints are. I was afraid that I missed my chance to scoop up some good solid fare for my nephews. You can imagine how happy I was when I heard that TAN had acquired Neumann and now I am so happy for you and your family to hear of the role that you played in making it possible. THANK YOU!
    On another note, is there a particular children's Bible you would recommend. My nephews have some of the books by Maite Roche but I think it might be time for something more for the older one. I tend to be a bit critical when it comes to text and images, but you seem to be doing something right so I'm inclined to follow your advice. Perhaps you could do a post on that some time.
    Thanks again for all you do. I'll try to remember to keep you and your family in my prayers.


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  83. Your blog is inspiring, Jessica. I was received into the Roman Catholic Church at Easter this year (having been an Anglican, with decades of interest in Catholicism) and your writing and thoughts, photos and links, were and are a beautiful part of my faith journey. Thank you, and love from Valerie in NZ.

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  84. The examples I've seen on your blog have inspired a great deal of fun and love for our faith. Thanks for all the ways you have blessed our family and friends. May your reward be great in heaven all of you! I think you could write a beautiful book. The pictures are just phenomenal too. What a treasure chest of ideas for relating the Catholic faith to our kids. Thanks again and thanks to your kids and husband too. I feel you ministering through your blog!!!

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  85. Your blog is a source of light and inspiration, especially for those of us who dont have a support network of like-minded families! As they say in spanish "animo!" :) thanks for all you do!

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  86. Your blog is beautiful, as is your family, please keep blogging!

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