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. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. 
    Lover of life, coffee and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Love, Do, Think.

“Be sure that your children each day have:

- something or someone to love

- something to do

 -something to think about.”

-Charlotte Mason

“Whether it be a cat, dog, rabbit or hamster, everybody needs something to love. There are opportunities for love in every home.

There are also many ways to provide services (labors of love) to others if you look for them.
By something to do, I mean, of course, something worthwhile to do.

A child staring passively at a television [or any screen] is not really doing anything worthwhile.
When our children complain, “There is nothing to do!”, they really mean, “Please amuse me.” Amusing oneself with idle pastimes all day is not really doing anything.

A little amusement is fine, but boredom will be transformed into real interest
when your children are given meaningful tasks of recreation and service.

When children are guided to seek after something to think about during their home life,
something to do,
something to love,
they will continue this habit throughout their lives. ”
- Karen Andreola
The Charlotte Mason Companion

Call of the {Wild} Duck

My morning started with a great text from an even greater friend.

“I found this guy who has a LOT of ducks … he has so many … he’s a duck hoarder!!… all kinds … you have to go see him! He’s selling everything!…”

I relay this message to the family over breakfast.

Instantly, the girls wanted to go see these new ducks. I have to admit, so did I. {Can we all still be little children with excitement in our voices and enthusiasm in our day!}

Can we go see them, can we pleeeeeeease, daddy?! All the girls chimed in together … a few hours later after some successful family voting {Daddy is always out-voted – he better get used to this …} and a few phone calls later, we were on our way – loaded the six girls into the big ol’ black suburban and headed down the country highway, excited to find a few more feathered friends for our homestead.

Oh, what adventures to be had in the Gauthier family!

Hmmm … sadly and stupidly, we didn’t check the map and didn’t realize how far away the farm way … 45 minutes later and still driving seemingly lost… our second youngest starts wailing from the back row of the truck …

This little two year old – oh yes, she is prone to motion sickness. We have found out the hard way.

 

“Quick, grab the bucket!”

 

Yes, we travel with a stainless steel bucket. You just never know when you might need a good, old fashioned bucket. Especially with Leia in the car.

My husband quickly screeches the truck to a halt, pulls over causing a huge dust cloud to engulf the car, I hastily jump out of the front seat, choke on the swirling dust, fling open the truck’s side door and jump into the back seat and just in time … yes, just in time … thank God ….

 

I’ll spare you the rest of the details.

 

Well, a few minutes later, we were back on our {crazy} way … thankful for reverse phone lookup, we eventually found our destination. A big ol’ Italian house, smack dab between Mennonite homes, on a forlorn country road, with what seems like 100s of ducks  and chickens wandering around the few acres of property. This man truly was a duck hoarder.

After some haggling and begging from Mr. Duck City, we finally left with two sweet natured call ducks, two young Silkies and, just for fun, two baby unknown ducks (surprise – we will find out what kind in a few months) …

We loaded up the suburban trunk with the new-found hens and ducklings and proceeded to rally the girls into their seatbelts and car seats for the long drive home … rolling down her window, the 7 year old promised, with a smile, to take care of his ducks  …

“Here,” said the robust Italian farmer … “A free one  — for you.” And through the car window, he tossed in a mid-sized startled white hen, landing quite shockingly on Lyla’s lap. We thanked the gentleman and drove off, ducks quacking, chickens clucking and children chattering about their new animals.

 

 

It was quite the ride home.
You should have seen the  drive thru lady’s face when we rolled down the window to order a snack for the way home and a fluffy, white chicken nearly flew out the window at her!

“What?! Was that a chicken?!?!?!” she shrieked, flapping her hands in the air as if she was swatting at a fly … oh yes, we assured her. Indeed it was. Don’t ask. Just pass the coffee over and roll up the window. Did I mention we had a long ride home?

 

 

{Insert another Leia incident with the stainless steel bucket a few minutes later. And then move on.}

 

We arrive home, excited to introduce our new call ducks, Tod & Libby, to their home …

Slowly opening the crate, we placed them carefully into their new pen (they will be free range, but we wanted to make sure they knew where home was for a few days).

 

 

 

Ohhhh, aren’t they beautiful? Truly. They are real cuties in real life. Tiny and rather adorable. A stunning couple.

 

 

Everything seemed okay – all was good … but, they were eyeing the small duck pond we had on the other side of the fenced coop. Well, we thought we’d let them try it out …

 

…big mistake … we opened the coop door and AWAY, so quickly, FLEW our newly-purchased, pure white call ducks …. swiftly and quickly, they flew right over our house and continued for abut two acres …. You see, before you think we are stupid (Well, we probably have already convinced you of that fact), let me explain that most land ducks do not fly in the sense of a bird flying … they fly like  a chicken or run along the ground flapping their wings – but we have never seen our ducks take flight yet … until now.

Shrieking, we ran after the fast moving pair, thinking MONEY DOOOOOOOOWN THE DRAIN … and why in the world didn’t the guy tell us they could fly THAT well?!  How in the world will we catch them now?! Pulling off my sweater as I ran frantically, I mastered up a creative and sneaky plan to snag them by throwing my sweater over them …. again, stupid mistake. My sweater was not even big enough to catch a slow moving turtle, much less a somewhat-flying duck ….

 

After much prayer and frantic running, hovering with arms wide open and gently talking like a crazy person to these ducks, Abby and I managed to chaotically catch the frightened pair at last. Firmly holding them, we placed them back in the safely back in the coop.

 

Phew.

Did I mention this all happened before I could even unbuckle the toddler from the car and take the poor sweet baby out of her car seat?

There truly is never a dull moment around here.

 

{the new silkies … feeling rather crazy after just chasing the other ducks down ….whose idea was this anyways?!}

 

 

Who needs t.v. when you have animals and children in your life?!

We wrapped up the day with good, hot scrubby baths for everyone and fell into our beds exhausted.

P.S. This, I have to say, is a typical day around here. It’s busy. It’s weird. It’s full of fresh air and sun kissed children who are ready to sleep at the end of the day. It’s chaotic and peaceful all within the same hour, crazy and wonderful. And I love it!

And , honestly, I can’t wait to try those ducks eggs…

July 31, 2014 - 12:07 am

Isela Taylor - What a unique and lovely story. The ducks are beautiful. Gigi could you please share the title/singer/group of the CD you are listing in the car? And any christian CD kids stories to listen in the car? My little one doesn’t like much books and I am trying to help him to like them. Any suggestion greatly appreciated.

July 30, 2014 - 5:20 am

Maike - This is such a funny exciting day story. I couldn’t stop reading and smiling. What are you gonna do about the flying ducks now so that they wont fly away a second time? And you look absolutely beautyful no matter how exhausted or in which situation you are in. I really admire you for that and your country life. ^_^

July 30, 2014 - 1:23 am

Teresa - Totally agree–it’s wonderful not ever having to worry about being bored! Love your smile and the story about getting your ducks–wish I could have seen the duck chase! :)

July 29, 2014 - 11:03 pm

Renee - LOVE this post and your smile with the chickens….you look like you were having a good laugh at it all! these are the wonderful times we can all talk and laugh about when we are old and the children are grown, the crazy adventures……so glad you found the duck horder and had a great day!

July 29, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Kristina - You are just crazy, and I absolutely love it! :)

Leading and Weeding {Little Ones}

Since moving to our new home, I’ve been determined to stay on top of weeding the many lovely gardens. I made the sad mistake of letting the beautiful gardens ‘go’ at our last home and it did seem, once the weeds took over, it was incredibly hard for this non-gardening, black thumb girl to get back on track.

And yet, now as the flowers grow and weeds sprout just as fast every time I kneel down and begin pulling those nasty weeds out of our new gardens surrounding our country home, I can hear the Holy Spirit … very clearly, asking me why I am so worried about the pesky weeds in our earthly home when spiritual weeding needed to be taking place in our family … eternal weeding … versus earthly weeding … what was more important? That I have a beautiful, weed-free garden surrounding our farmhouse or that the ‘weeds’ in my own life – and my children’s lives – were taken care of …?

My utmost  heart-felt desire is to lead my little ones to the Cross.
To know they are saved. To see Jesus come alive to them. Everything I do as a mom – fun crafts, exciting field trips, regular day chores, faithful homeschooling – it all trivial compared to teaching the girls about their Heavenly Father and developing their own personal relationship with Jesus.

As a mom, how much time do I spend doing earthly tasks when I neglect the eternal chores of weeding?

Like teaching our little ones about God – God, in *everything* that we do.
Praying instead of worrying.
Thanking instead of complaining.
Teaching instead of tearing down.
Pulling out the spiritual weeds instead of allowing them to grow so big that I look back and realize I cannot even reach my children’s hearts.

 

This was it.

In my spiritual weeding journey, I just knew we had to get down to the basics, the foundation of everything — Bible reading.

Yes, we read the Bible already – and we do devotions, but it is easy to be distracted in this silly life.
Reading together is an integral part of our family life. It’s part of our bedtime routine and part of our breakfast time … we have ready many devotions. I have a bookshelf full of various studies for the children and I and yet I know, the best book, the MOST important reading material is the Bible.
We have never done it from cover to cover. That needs to change!

 

 

 

 

I prayed about it. I asked God how do I do this with the girls? How do I go through the whole Bible with the girls? Wouldn’t it be hard to understand? Or a little graphic in some parts? And would the three year old listen? Would it be, dare I say it … boring?
But the more I prayed about it, the more I could hear God telling me it’s time. RIGHT NOW. It’s time to stop wasting time and time to stop figuring out a schedule. Our oldest is 10 years old – she needs to hear the Scriptures and not just the Awana-version – she needs to hear the Scriptures from start to finish. I want my children to teeth on the Word, to hear it and learn in their little minds, to know it, to question it, to *want* to read it every.single.day. To fall asleep at night with the freshly-read Scriptures imprinted on their minds.

And  it’s so simple to start.

We just opened the Book.

We began in Genesis. And we will finish in Revelation.

I am determined. We will make room in our day for this.

Our plan? To read three chapters every day. That means it will take us 396 days to read through the Bible together – from cover to cover. Start to finish. Genesis to Revelation.

We will read our regular devotions in the morning together at breakfast.

 

 

… and we will read the three chapters from the Bible at night before bed. Or maybe it will be in the r.v. while camping. Or in the car as we travel back from grandparents in an audio version. Or around the campfire in the summer. Or mid day during a quiet afternoon …

But this is all part of my job in the gardening and leading of little ones …

 

Let the weeds grow around the outside gardens, but let me not ignore the spiritual weeding in my own life. Leading and weeding – what better way to start than to immerse ourselves in God’s word …

 

 

Jesus told them another parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 2
When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?”
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds
and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom.
The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels,
and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace,
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Matthew 13:24-43

P.S. I’m hoping to do some posts on how to get the Word into your child’s daily life through way of music and audio stories.
There are some fantastic resources out there!
Stay tuned! It is never too late and never, ever too early.
Also, listen here for some timely, wonderful encouragement!

July 20, 2014 - 6:51 pm

Jen Heemskerk - I’m interested in hearing what you use the colourful tabs for? For example: what do the yellow tabs represent? ;-)

July 19, 2014 - 8:44 am

admin - HI Teresa,

Yes, we love Seeds music!! Fantastic way to get Scripture into our minds and hearts! And yes, I read Raising Olives blog, too. :) You and I think alike. xo

July 19, 2014 - 6:33 am

Teresa - I agree! You would find raisingolives.com encouraging–she is homeschooling her 11 kids and she has some great ideas for family devos and scripture memory. No watering down. It’s amazing what kids are capable of! Have you heard of seeds family worship? Pure scripture set to song–awesome music to listen to in the car and really well done. You can listen to it online for free and the DVDs are inexpensive.http://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/mobile/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwrqieBRCln82Rgufz7I0BEiQAPNjAI5Z3MJBmdcBVr3hyq2uJGYGN6j2Mn7JSveVoGAvHyE8aAs4l8P8HAQ
God has spoken to me about my kids while weeding before too! There’s a saying “where a flower is planted a thistle cannot grow” and it encourages me to be proactive sowing good things into my kids lives–rather than just so concerned about what bad things could be planted and trying to pull those out.
Looking forward to hearing your ideas about how to get scripture in kids hearts. :)

July 17, 2014 - 9:51 pm

Erin Lynn - This has to be my favorite yet of your blog posts! I have been slowly trying to work the Word in my children’s hearts. Please, please write more about this. It is such a vital topic to mothering. You have such a sweet heart for your children. Thank you for writing.

Moonbeam

 

 

 

A delightful addition to our family … as a surprise for Lyla for her 8th birthday …

 

 

Lyla carries her around like a true momma … doting on her, making sure her kitty takes afternoon naps … so cute …

 

Happy birthday, Lyla! We love and treasure you dearly … xo