Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Fire Cider

 Prevention is better than cure.    
 – Desiderius Erasmus

My husband is a funeral director, an undertaker, a mortician  … he is a very hard worker – he works long hours at his job and then works long hours at home. He’s constantly in the public and in hospitals. If he is not careful, often falling sick, sometimes from pure exhaustion, other times from simply shaking hands with too many people coming through the funeral home!  I’m constantly looking for ways to boost his health and build up his energy. He always asks what I’m “brewing” for him in my kitchen …  this weekend found me chopping up loads of roots, onions, garlic and making up another one of our family medicines for our pantry.

This time it was Fire Cider for our natural home-pharmacy, but specifically for my husband.

There are so many benefits to Fire Cider that it is hard to write them all down!

But first – what is it?



It is an old folk recipe for amazing immune-building, super tonic, created from a mixture of root vegetables, onions, hot peppers and garlic among other items seeped in apple cider vinegar. [You can watch a video of Rosemary Gladstar, who brought it to the public in the early 1980s, making her fire cider here.]

Fire Cider boosts your immune system, it is anti-inflammatory, improves digestion, anti-viral, works against congestion, aids circulation, aids digestion, generally will help keep you healthy during the flu and cold season, it wards off illness, soothes sinus infections … yes, this tonic even aids in killing cancer cells!

Fire Cider is truly a super-tonic. My better half has begun taking his dose already, although typically you need to let it seep for six weeks. In this case, since winter is full swing, we thought it would be best to simply begin dosages at the present time. If I can plan ahead, I will make it around September when I have a large amount of hot peppers, onions, and such harvested from the garden.



What you will need:

1 ginger root
1 onion
1 garlic
cayenne pepper
1 red hot pepper
1 horseradish root
juice of a lemon
raw honey {use your preference}
apple cider vinegar
Did you know, among multiple other fascinating health benefits (like clearing a sinus infection, easing headaches, sore muscles and cramps, just to name a few) horseradish is 10 times stronger than broccoli in the fight against cancer? I’m not a fan of eating horseradish but I *will* take it in this tonic. {Just a note – because I’m nursing, I am not going to take very strong dosages of this, but will see how it affects the baby.}

How to make it:

Chop up all your food with a ratio of 1:1:1:1 , place in a jar and cover with raw apple cider vinegar. Make sure all the vegetables are sumberged. Cover with a lid. If you are using a metal lid, place a piece of fabric or plastic wrap between the lid and the vinegar. Otherwise, simply store in a dark, dry location for about a month-six weeks. Then, strain the vegetables or keep them in – whichever you prefer. The tonic will keep for roughly six months in a cool location. Take daily to help ward off illnesses. How you choose to use the tonic is up to you. It can be used a salad dressing, mixed in water, you may add more honey if it is too hot, add it to your cooking … or just take it daily spoonful. Pretty simple.

Many recipes, which can be found with a quick search online, incorporate various herbs or other vegetables in the tonic. You can adjust it to your liking. My husband likes hot, hot dishes, so there is no problem in getting him to take this tonic.




February 8, 2016 - 8:26 am

Gillian - Lynda, I think, with so many amazing benefits from the vegetables and spices in Fire Cider, that it would not really need the essential oils. It is pretty strong as it is! My husband LOVES this- but like I said, he likes hot foods. I would be taking mine with a dose of our honey, that is for sure!
Mom, fantastic! Let me know if you do. It has a kick but you can you take it with honey or use it in cooking.

February 7, 2016 - 11:07 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - So,how does Abby like it??Do you ever add essential oils to this ?All the ingredients are so beneficial , good researching Gillian.

February 7, 2016 - 10:26 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Great idea Gillian .. I just might try this!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Right Here

I often read blogs or hear from other women who have children that are grown.
They say to cherish every day, make the most of family moments, love more, give grace, have fun with your children, raise them to love the Lord …
I feel like I am in the thick of it all – raising children, managing a busy home, homeschooling various grades, trying to teach them the Scriptures and to show them how wonderful a relationship with the Lord is, even working on a marriage … it can be, well, a bit much some days. I am determined to keep my eyes on the long term investment in this precious family of mine, however.
From babies to older children, my arms and hands and heart and schedule is completely full.
But I want to learn from these older women  … to not let it overwhelm me and take my eyes off the reason for it all.
I want to treasure it all, bottle up the joys of motherhood, be patient more often but still train the child right and wrong, choose to invest into the family instead of frivolous endeavours.

I have a feeling theses days will all go by too quickly. With God’s grace and sustaining help, I desire to do the best I can right here, right now.

“I don’t want to kiss you good night
So I’ll just keep on holding you tight
‘Cause I know you’ll change and you’ll grow
You’ll get bigger with each morning light

I know that the sky’s full of stars
And dreams call your name from afar
I’m anxious to see all you’re going to be
But I’m sure going to miss who you are

But I’ll keep you right here in my heart
And I’ll memorize each little part
‘Cause one day you’ll grow and I’ll miss you so
But I’ll keep you right here in my heart

Each tooth that you gain or you lose
And each time you’ll need bigger shoes
Each step that you take will be further away
But to stop you is not what I choose.

These fingers that curl round my hand
Must do things that no others can
I know you’re not mine,
But God’s own design
And I want you to follow His plan

But I’ll keep you right here in my heart
And I’ll memorize each little part
‘Cause one day you’ll grow and I’ll miss you so
But I’ll keep you right here in my heart.”

February 6, 2016 - 9:32 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - So wonderful you have this beautiful perspective!

Bread Making


“Cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days
it will come back buttered.”
-Louise May Alcott


I recently found a *fabulous* bread recipe that is basically a no-fail recipe. I was so impressed with this recipe and the results.

Recently, the girls & I read a book where a young girl baked bread for her family and eventually received some customers to buy her bread from a local bank! Lacey was inspired! I guessed that this particular bread recipe would be a great one for the girls – Lacey, in particular – to learn.
She tried out our new recipe this weekend and was very successful. It is always encouraging for a project to turn out and not fail, especially since we are cooking on the cookstove.

If you are looking for a fabulous bread recipe to add to your kitchen, this is it. I have tried many recipes but this is hands down my favorite. It slices fabulously for sandwiches, as well. You can lessen the sugar or add more if you want to adjust the sweetness of the bread.


Here is the recipe from Jenny Can Cook:


2 cups of whole wheat flour (if you wish, you may just use regular flour)
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of instant yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar1 tablespoon of salt
1 cup of milk, warmed up
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 egg (at room temperature)

{I try to make bread without our mixer, but for this recipe, we did have to use the electric mixer.}

  1. Place flours, yeast, sugar & salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in milk, followed by oil and egg.
  3. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
  4. On low speed add about 1/4 cup bread flour until dough forms a mass.
  5. Place dough on floured surface and knead 50 turns.
  6. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Shape dough into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until it’s one inch taller than the pan, about 35 minutes. {We used the warming drawer above the wood cookstove. I love that drawer! It is incredibly handy!}
  9. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, I cover the top of the loaf with a foil tent to prevent over-browning.

A little note, as we baked this in the wood cookstove. We did not bring the oven temperature up to 375 but baked it at 300. It still worked just fine although we did allow it to remain in the oven for a bit longer than the allotted time. We simply watched the bread carefully to ensure it was not burning.



What could be better than a hot simmering pot of homemade soup and some delicious homemade bread?

February 2, 2016 - 5:40 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Lacey, what a fabulous loaf of bread!!! It looks amazing and I bet it tasted amazing too! What a special lady you are growing up to be! Happy 12th Birthday, Lacey. xoxo

February 2, 2016 - 12:57 pm

admin - I am going to attempt to do this recipe to make five or six loaves at a time and see if it will still work. I will not be able to use my mixer then (too small!). However, I actually don’t mind making bread every other day as it is just so yummy fresh – and bonus, it makes the home smell so lovely and cozy!
p.s the pot? Well, I like to stretch our meals very far in between … so this is the leftover beef stroganoff simply turned into a soup! It was tasty!

February 2, 2016 - 12:53 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Oh and I forgot…what is the yummy goodness in the pot?

February 2, 2016 - 12:47 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!! I can’t wait to try it.We are a family of 9 and I for sure have to make more than on or two at a time or I would be making bread all day everyday!…..and Amy…does this mean I can have your recipe to????

February 1, 2016 - 5:46 pm

Gillian - Amy, that sounds like a great recipe! I usually do a recipe that makes six loaves, as well. I mix it by hand as it cannot fit it all in my mixer! I don’t always bake the six loaves at a time but store the dough in the fridge over the week. I do have trouble getting the last bit of dough to rise properly though if it has been in the fridge for a few days.
I’d love to see your recipe, as well, if you want to email it to me! :D

February 1, 2016 - 5:21 pm

amy - i have a great one that does 6 loaves at once. you make a yeast mixture the night before and the yeast does its multiplying overnight and the next day you add the rest of the flour, kneed, etc. i usually divide it on half and do 3 loaves as cinnamon raisin and the other 3 as whole wheat. if you’d like the recipe i can email it.


“I don’t want to kiss you good night
So I’ll just keep on holding you tight
‘Cause I know you’ll change and you’ll grow
You’ll get bigger with each morning light…”



Every day with Lazarus is sweeter than the day before. He is my little treasure. I often wondered if having a son would be so very different from the girls. I can tell you this: a mother’s love just keeps growing and multiplying with each child. Boy or girl. It does not change.
These babies, I wholly love with my entire being. xxoo




February 5, 2016 - 3:38 pm

Annie - I think at one point it will feel different. In the most amazingly wonderful way. A lucky boy to be certain.

January 30, 2016 - 11:45 pm

Erin Lynn - So, so sweet!

January 30, 2016 - 2:05 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - WOW! He looks more like Abby every day!! xo

January 29, 2016 - 10:34 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - He is so cute!!Your picture is beautiful.

Music to the Ears

“I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin.”
-Albert Einstein



In our house, we love music!

Who doesn’t love a well played musical instrument? Or even a squeaky violin or slightly out of tune piano … when it is your child playing, it is music to your ears, despite the mistakes and occasional squeak of strings.


And we all know music is fabulous for the brain


Continuing with the last post, touching on learning while listening to audio stories … today I’d like to feature some of our music-orientated CDs that we use for learning.




I discovered these lovely CDs on Amazon last year when we introduced a composer per month to the children. Each CD features one famous composer and his music, while listening to a narration of his life. We have learned so much about incredible composers just by listening to these stories.

An Introduction to the Classics by Vox Music Masters can be found here on Amazon.



I just so happened to find a beautiful collection of classical composers for sale at the local dollar store. {What a shame, in some ways, that these magnificent musicians are belittled to be sold at the dollar store?!} It was a great find for me, however,  to accompany the narration CDs.


Another fabulous CD collection is Classical Kids, which features interesting stories centered around the lives of many great composers. You can find the collection on Amazon, as well, by visiting here.

  • Beethoven Lives Upstairs






I hope this helps if you are looking for ways to introduce classical composers, music or audio learning to your family.




January 23, 2016 - 11:14 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Awh, this makes me miss those days! I love those stories too. Thankful that your childhood has so many good memories. Love you Gillian, thank you for sharing and for those kind words. xo

January 22, 2016 - 11:12 pm

Maike - I don’t like audiobooks much as I can’t concentrate on listening to them. I prefer books or movies instead. But I like seeing your girls play the violin and piano. I used to play the violin for years when being in their age, giving concerts, and loving it. But there was so much pressure behind it that I gave it up in high school and I regret it so much. I sold my violin back then and now don’t have the money anymore and I would have to start again from zero.

January 22, 2016 - 8:11 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Thanks for sharing! I love to see children playing piano! We have one and we are teaching ourselves to play it.Its been an adventure,lol.