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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

The Great Sunflower {Project} – Turning to the Light

  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

How are we to work for the Lord?
Always abounding.
The
Greek word abounding means ‘to be excessive’;
over the top, going beyond what is necessary … super abundant.
That sounds like a fun way to live, doesn’t it?
Are you living this way in your home?
It’s very easy to live boringly.
It’s so sad when we live in our homes in a boring manner …
you don’t have to be like that.
It all depends on our attitude.
Ladies, we have the power to make our homes what we want them to be …

Dear precious mother, if you want a joyful home,
make a joyful home!

If you want an exciting home, make it exciting!
Think of exciting things to do!
If you want a home filled with peace, be a peacemaker.
We make the environment that we want to have.
It’s interesting – everything in God is not normal –
it’s over the top … more than is necessary. Super abundant.
Get out of the normal, the boring and the status quo –
spend a little time thinking,
‘ Now Jesus, what can I do tomorrow that will make my home more exciting?'”

-Above Rubies, Nancy Campbell


 

 

“Girls, let’s plant a LOT of sunflowers this year,” I said one morning as I dished out eight bowls of hot cinnamon-and-butter oatmeal. “How many should we plant?”

The young ladies [and two little boys] around the breakfast table chattered away with excitement, throwing out suggestions of how many sunflowers would be good for our garden, wondering where we should plant them and so forth. Somehow, in our wild, unplanned conversation, the number ‘200’ was brought forth.

“Two hundred sunflowers? Sure, let’s do it!” was my reply. Into the big ol’ family van we tumbled after breakfast and headed to the local  tractor supply store to purchase enough seeds and trays for our Big Sunflower Project. I felt a little silly at the store counter as the cashier rang up the sunflower seeds and little brown pots for the seedlings. I’ll just call it a school project, I thought … 

 

“Do you plant seeds?” I asked the cashier lady, as she rang up the bill. She shrugged, stuffing the seed packages into a plastic bag, and replied she didn’t have the time to care for seeds. Well, perhaps we can bring her a sunflower after it grows a little. I tucked that thought in the back of my head and made a note to remember in a few weeks…

That afternoon, Lyla, with some small helpers at her side, was given the task to start planting two hundred sunflowers in little peat moss trays. Every day, she was to water them, turn them so their receive proper amount of light and carry out the trays if the day is warm enough and sunny enough for the seedlings to have some fresh outdoor air.

 

 

[Carrying 200 seedlings up and down her staircase from her bedroom is a small workout, no doubt. One does not think of that when we planted 200 little seeds; we are grateful for all the little sisters’ help in transporting the seedlings from sunny room to sunny locations.]

Now, it is a few weeks later and Lyla is very proud of her growing sunflowers.  We love to watch the seedlings literally turning to the light every day, searching out the golden sunrays that may come its way.

“We have to turn them,” I explained to the girls, as they helped carry the little green stems, full of promise and hope, outside for an afternoon of sunshine. “They need to grow straight and tall and strong …”

Just like ourselves … often times, stuck in darkness, waiting for the promise of a brighter day, turning to our Light, I thought, as we gently watered each 200 seedling, examining the tender plants for growth …

… I need to reach for the Sonshine that will bring me through the any darkness and help our family grow strong and tall in a dark world … we all have painful trials, time of winter when we need some sunshine in our lives – let these sunflowers, as they grow this summer, be a reminder to me that we can turn to the Light and renew our strength.

 

“Like a seedling in the clay
When the sun’s first golden ray,
Marks the breaking of the day,
I am turning to the light.

I am turning to the light
I am reaching toward the sun,
I have journeyed through the night
And the battle now is won,
There’s a new song in my heart,
There’s a new day dawning bright;
Oh, I’m turning to the light.”

 



{Lovelyn, with her sunflower, two summers ago}

We cannot wait to plant them outdoors in the soil – although we are still not sure where or how to plant them … in a group in the garden for a stunning arrival as you pull up the driveway? Or along the fenceline behind where the children have their swings? Perhaps in a room-shape, where you can enter between sunflowers and find yourself in a sunshiney-happy-sunflower-lined room?

In any case, we are all looking forward to watching them grow and seeing their beautiful happy flower faces appear in later summer.

 

 

May 21, 2019 - 5:04 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA I hope they all bloom beautifully and you’ll share pictures! Sunflowers are the state flower here in Kansas. A smaller species of them grow wild in summertime and they’re everywhere. Seeing bunches of them on the side of the road always make me smile. As for location, I vote for the fence line. I think they’ll make a wonderful border.

I copied the Nancy Campbell quote to put into my Housewife Notebook in my Encouragement section. On those days when I feel droopy, I love to read that section. I may not accomplish a whole lot, but it usually perks me up enough to make something inside prettier.

May 17, 2019 - 9:31 pm

Gigi Fence – yes!

May 17, 2019 - 9:31 pm

Gigi Kristal, oh, I am sorry to hear that. You can definitely try seeding outdoors but it depends on the seed and how long it takes to mature, your zone and weather conditions. You could also buy some started seedlings/plants and go from there. It would be encouraging to see the growth!

May 17, 2019 - 9:29 pm

Gigi Teresa, that’s a great idea for Lyla. 🙂 I will mention it to her!
The seeder sounds fantastic. 🙂 So great to hear from you. I hope you are doing well!

May 17, 2019 - 12:02 pm

Teresa I love sunflowers ! some varieties are so nice and tall, Lyla can set up a booth at the end of the driveway and sell them 🙂 I’ve been meaning to mention to you to look up at Lee Valley, they have a precision garden seeder that is AMAZING! there are different plates you insert when you are doing your garden. Happy gardening !

May 17, 2019 - 10:34 am

Kristal What a great project for your family! Looking back at your picture from two years ago, I am amazed at how tall sunflowers grow. I’m sad to report our little seeds never game to fruition. We planted them in little seed cups. After a few weeks we saw sprouts, and then they all suddenly died. We kept going, but they never came back. I don’t know if we over watered or under watered (they had plenty of sun). I’m debating still trying again, but directly planting out in a raised garden bed, now that the weather is consistently warm. Have you ever had luck planting directly outdoors?

May 17, 2019 - 9:26 am

Monica I love the quote from Nancy Campbell. That is so inspiring! And so true! I love your sunflower project! I vote up against the fence. 🙂

The Little Things

“Life is made up of little things.
He who travels over a continent must go step by step.
He who writes books must do it sentence by sentence.
He who learns science must master it fact by fact .
What is happiness of our life made up of?
Little courtesies, little kindnesses, pleasant words, genial smiles, a friendly letter, good wishes – –
the little things make up our life every day and every hour.
If we make the little events of life beautiful and good,
then is the whole life full of beauty and goodness.

It is by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having
as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”

-The Royal Path of Life, 1882

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Mommeeeeeee ….. we FOUND him!”

 

The words echoed through the back mudroom, down the short dining room hallway and into the nearly clean kitchen … where one could find me preparing lunch for my hungry and energetic children. Following the voice in succession, muddy footprints soon tracked their way into the room where I was preparing the meal … the end of that dirty trail was an excited and rosy-cheeked little girl who wanted to share some important news with her mother.

“We FOUND the FROG! He’s SO CUTE!”

 

My youngest daughter appeared at the doorway, breathless with excitement, mud across one arm, both feet pasted with remnants of her muddy excursion of the spring morning … a big smile spreading across her face and her hands were raised in the air in triumph.

“Come see him, momma!”

She turned and quickly ran back out of the house … back screen door slamming as her dirty bare feet went flying back down the hill to the frog’s paradise — a mucky location along the treeline in our yard, a perfect home indeed for Mr. Frog. I looked down at the once clean kitchen floor … yes, she was definitely leaving a muddy trail behind. I shuffled the thought of having to clean it again behind me  — isn’t that my job, anyways? – and moved on to follow my little daughter outdoors.

Her older sister was proudly holding up their little fine catch to show their momma …

“My, he’s beautiful!” I said, admiring the frog’s lovely toes and long skinny legs. “Make sure you show your brother.”

Being that our first son is now three years old, spring memories will be new and exciting yet again as he probably does not remember too many of last spring seasonal muddy moments.

The proud sisters gently showed their unsure brother their little animal treasure …

Their youngest brother is the most interested in creatures and is never intimidated about anything … he admired the treasured frog with great rapture …  it was a little moment, but it was memorable to these youngsters.

Later that day, the children & I  took a walk through the back field and found a dry spot to sit down together and read through our read-aloud book. We brought a basket of freshly baked muffins, which I passed out while reading our chapter, which just happened to be on the life of porcupines. Oddly enough, one of my daughters was walking through the fields earlier this day and happened upon a fat, healthy porcupine, plodding along the pathway. She watched it with awe as it  lumbered lazily up a tree upon their encounter — my daughter was able to stay and observe the funny creature  for a while as it settled into some branches for a nice long nap.

How lovely that God sent that prickly woodland creature her way! The perfect illustration to our book … I thought as we read through our pages on the porcupine.

Little details … but lovely ones …

Last week, we were driving home from the feed store and we happened to see a beautiful Large Blue Heron, wading along the flooded ditches of a roadway. We stopped the giant Gauthier bus and all stood on one side of the van to watch this lovely bird as he went about his business with slow, thoughtful steps, his sharp watchful eye looking for some tasty treat under the muddy waters.  Trucks, vans, busy cars passed us by but we kept our eyes locked on this great water bird as he carefully went about his steady business.

When we returned home, and picked up our School of the Woods book that afternoon, we were delighted and surprised to find out that our next chapter was on the Blue Heron – another good orchestration of God in our little minute details of our day. Amazing!

The following rainy day, we all piled back into our ‘bus’ and scouted out a good location to watch for the Blue Heron again at the same location. To our excitement, our long-legged bird friend had returned and we spent an hour reading our second chapter on the Blue Heron while the children watched the keen-eyed creature in his natural environment.

These little orchestrations of God’s attention to what seems like small details in our tiny lives always amazes me.

As the day ended, I called my children in to wash up when I noticed Loyal, only a year and a bit tucked under his life experience, watch with amazing attention the departure of a slinky mudworm as it wiggled it’s way back into the moist earth. Loyal’s eyes followed the worm’s every movement … his fingers pointed to the direction of the wriggly creature … he called me over in the way one year old’s call their mother … asking me to look, look at what he had found … he was absolutely amazed …

Such a tiny worm, no one else would have noticed except perhaps the fresh, keey eyes of a one year old boy.

Let us not despise the day of small things. My days are filled with small, minute details … I do not want to miss them in a hurried state or a frenzied rushing about attitude. My children are only little –and medium and somewhat big — once. No other job should fill my time like the job of motherhood and wife. Being here, with the children, for the little and tiny details, make my life full of beautiful, big memories.

“Little and often fills the purse.
Moments are the golden sands of time.
Every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated;
those, therefore, that lose a day, are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it, desperate.
Springs are little things, but they are sources of large streams — a word, a look, a frown, all are little things,
but powerful for good or evil. Think of this, and mind the little things.”
-The Royal Path of Life

 

 

 

May 16, 2019 - 4:52 pm

Gigi Lynnea, that is a beautiful story to remember … I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds very tragic.I hope you can still find those little gifts and treasures in your day that show God is watching over you.

May 15, 2019 - 6:59 pm

Lynnea When my husband and I were deep in fresh grief over the tragic loss of our loved one, God showed His tender loving care to us in sending a little squirrel to visit each morning on our front porch by the kitchen window.
While eating our breakfast we watched “Scamper” run and play in the yard and maple trees. It was early Autumn and there were plenty of “helicopters” on the branches and ground for “him” to eat and store up for the cold winter ahead.
We began leaving him shelled nuts on the porch, which he loved, and daily would eat a few and then run off with a few to store.
We so enjoyed Scamper’s visits for several months and then one day in early Spring, it was time for him to move on to a new place to make his home.
We will always remember the comfort and joy God gave us by sending little Scamper into our lives.
Your post is very heartwarming, Gigi! The simple treasures in life are all around and I pray for eyes and a heart to see them, and not miss them!

May 12, 2019 - 8:39 am

Sue Happy Mothers Day Gigi! To a mother who loves and treasures her highest callings in life…help meet and motherhood

May 8, 2019 - 3:14 pm

Monica This, my friend, is an example(s) of perfect homeschooling!! I love it!:)

May 8, 2019 - 3:06 pm

Gigi Claire, it is always so nice to hear from you! How are you and the family doing? I still think your home was the coziest, most lovely home to ever visit. I hope you are doing well. Maybe we will bump into each other in real life soon. 🙂 ((hugs))

May 8, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Claire I love this! Thanks for posting Gillian. Beautiful. xo

May 8, 2019 - 8:26 am

Gigi Yes, God’s timing is lovely!

May 8, 2019 - 8:16 am

Ruth Dear Gigi, Many lovely spring finds seemingly random but God knew exactly what animal He wanted in your children’s path those days to coincide with storytime! God’s timing is perfect and beautiful. You’ve captured the wonder and delight on their faces. Such treasures! – Ruth

I See Him Every Day

My two little ones were sitting at the long kitchen table, working on their letters and their school work for the morning. I quietly listened to their little conversation as I pulled up a kitchen chair to join them.

 

“Lavender, do you know where God is?” asked the elder daughter, a tone of authority in her older sister voice. She firmly gripped her pencil and continued her work an even flow.

My now-five-year-old Lavender nodded her head, her dark braid bouncing,

“Yup, out there,” she said, pointing her pencil towards the back yard.

“He’s EVERY WHERE, Lavender,” replied Leia, eyebrows raised. This daughter recently had a birthday and “grew up” and was obviously feeling quite important in this conversation. “Out there, in here, all over.”

She continued coloring, tracing her letters and working on her penmanship.

 

I listened from my side of the table and smiled.

These past few weeks have been fast and filled with lovely, happy memories being made (three birthdays in our immediate family), extended family celebrations and plain ol’ living … cleaning out gardens, raking, planting seeds and a few flowering trees with hopes for a beautiful spring.

 

In contrast, there also has been a lot of evil happening in the world – a lot of bad things happening to good people, even just down the street.  I rarely check the news in order to keep my mind of all that is good and lovely, but when I do, I am saddened to read the headlines.

However, here in our little home, with all our children running around, drinking in the spring sunshine and watching life unfold and bloom on our little piece of property, we try to see God in everything.

As a family, every night we have been praying for a dear friend and mother of eight who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer — but in just a few weeks, God has turned things around and she is healing and recovering so much faster than the doctors ever imagined. That is God. We see Him. 

 

 

 


In my humble surroundings, I see God at work everyday, as my little ones pray and ask Jesus to forgive them for their sins, when my husband returns home safely from work – arms full of groceries for our growing family …

We feel His presence and we know He is taking care of us. And we are grateful that we serve a Saviour, a God that will take care of the weak and broken, even in our modern society of false self-help and assurance – if only we ask.

The spring night was balmy and the sun was warm. We headed out to the front yard with shovels, eight happy children and eight straggling tree seedlings.

The children each received a free ‘baby tree’ this week for Earth Day. We waited for daddy to come home from work and we planted them together as a family along our driveway. It will be years before we see their growth, if they live, but we are hopeful.

During the supper cleanup, my 15 year old daughter loves to hear this song playing in the background. It is a favorite of ours and I love that the words encourage her to see God in the every day moments.

We see God, here in this home, every day.

I See Him

I hear people putting God down
Saying that when they look around
All they see are the bad things heading their way
We’ll I’ll admit that watching the news
Can sure give a person a case of the blues
But it’s all in where you look for him each day

‘Cause I see him in the seeds I grow
I hear him in the rooster’s crow
I feel him when my husband’s hand is in mine
I taste him in the meals I make
I smell him in the bread I bake
When I look around I don’t have to wonder where he’ll be
I see him in you
And I hope you see him in me

There was a time when hard as I looked
In the pews of the church or the words of the book
I couldn’t find him
I didn’t know where to start
But then one morning I realized
He’s been right there in front of my eyes
But I couldn’t see him until I looked with my heart

Now I see him in the seeds I grow
I hear him in the rooster’s crow
I feel him when my children’s hands are in mine
I taste him in the meals I make
I smell him in the bread I bake
When I look around I don’t have to wonder where he’ll be
I see him in you
And I hope you see him in me.

May 8, 2019 - 5:47 am

Gigi That is wonderful. I have never thought of hanging out an orange – what a great idea!

May 8, 2019 - 1:44 am

Ruth Thankyou so much for the prayer, Gigi.❤ It means alot to both of us. She seems to be doing better. We are watching for our bird friends to come back. She heard the Oriole’s song before she saw him and asked if she could hang out a half an orange. Sure enough, the Oriole was seen the very same day swinging on the orange and eating the sweet treat. She was delighted!

May 3, 2019 - 3:28 pm

Gigi Ruth, please tell your daughter I am thinking of her and praying for her. I hope she can see God working in her life, even in the tiny details…

May 2, 2019 - 1:18 pm

Ruth Dear Gigi, This was so needed for my daughter and me to hear to encourage her as she struggles inwardly with “am I really saved…I don’t feel saved”. I’ve told her to look for ways that God is working in her daily life. This song points to the simple ways we can see Jesus, ones we so often overlook. Thanks so much for sharing your family life with us. Such a blessing!

April 27, 2019 - 4:02 pm

Gigi Yes, the words are perfect! Here is a link to the song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWLSCMLRI0M
It’s such a great song!

April 27, 2019 - 2:29 pm

Monica And the words to that song….just perfect for our lives!!

April 27, 2019 - 2:28 pm

Monica Gillian, you have a beautiful home!!! Gorgeous! And I love this post. Yes we do see Him everywhere! I love how nature declares Him. I hope your trees flourish! Happy birthday, Leia and Lavendar!

Celebrate a Risen Lord

Our family celebrated our Risen Saviour this weekend – it is a joyful time indeed. We stopped to pause as a family and had a personal time of Communion and Bible reading at home on the day of Jesus’ death – it was a lovely quiet time for our family. We sang particular hymns relating to the Cross around the family piano and listened as the Man of the House read through some Scriptures.

 

 

On Sunday, we went to church as a family with thankful hearts and humbled spirits to celebrate that our Lord is alive!

Our afternoon was spent with extended family – it was a lovely weekend.

Happy Resurrection Day to you and your family …

 

April 23, 2019 - 11:32 am

Paula Thank you for the picture and the message. Brought a smile to my face today. I am one of the Resurrection people too. It’s a good thing….

April 22, 2019 - 10:07 pm

Diane Such a beautiful day, and what a beautiful family!

April 22, 2019 - 6:39 pm

Regina Shea What a lovely family you have family family Gigi! We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday too. Praise our risen Savior!

An Important Education

I know some of you have asked for a homeschooling post – and I am working on one – however, I wanted to share this. If you have not considered home education, and if you are a believer, perhaps it’s time.

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=103014947248