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. ♥

Cinnamon {Love}

A sweet older lady came up to me at church yesterday and, shaking her head,  said “You must be so busy this time of year ….”

While I suppose that is a teensy bit true, aren’t we all a little bit busier this season?

But somehow, we have managed to stay clear of the crazy, busy schedules – no work parties or strange awkward get togethers, we have not rushed to every town celebration or holiday activity that has appeared attractive, we are not bustling around to the stores (in fact, I avoid them this time of year), the shopping that had to be done was accomplished online {what a lovely treat!} and now we are baking, giving gifts to the neighbor, celebrating each day with acts of kindness in some way and enjoying a less-rushed schedule.

 

 

Christmas cheer and fun-filled memories are just as easily made baking up goodies for the neighbours in your cozy kitchen … thinking of ideas and ways to bless the grandparents or piano teacher …


Here’s a simple activity to cheer up your Christmas house.
Hide the car keys, cease the rushing, put on some sweet Christmas music and roll out the cinnamon dough with your children.

 

Homemade Cinnamon Scented Ornaments

 

  • 1 cup cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. cloves (I omitted this because I didn’t have any)
  • 1 Tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. white glue
  • cookie cutters
  • drinking straw
  • ribbon

 

Knead the ingredients together until it forms a dough. Collect your kids favorite cookie cutters. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the table and roll out the dough. And have some fun from there! You can make anything! And you can decorate it any way you want. We used sparkles, but you could paint, add eyes and create creatures – anything!
Make sure you poke a hole in the top to hang a string through so you can hang these lovely ornaments on your tree.

 

When everything is all cut out, bake in the over at 200 degrees for a few hours (I baked them for just over an hour).
Add a string and you’re done!

 

December 19, 2014 - 12:55 am

Mama H - Oh how wonderful!!!Thank u for sharing!

My Christmas Presents

Sometimes, the best presents cannot be wrapped ….

{thankful to have these precious Little Women to make up our family!}

Lacey (10)

Lyla (8)

Lucia (6)

Lovelyn (4)

Leia (2)

Lavender (7 months)

December 21, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Heather - Hello Gillian! I haven’t blogged or read blogs in such a long time. I peeked in here once recently but just now am seeing these last few adorable posts :) We too, filled Christmas shoeboxes. My cousin is one of the team for Operation Christmas Child and she and my sister handed out boxes in Nicaragua this fall. What a joy it was for them! We are also baking for neighbours this week and so your post on slowing down was timely. I have been the one you described who has been running around and I had planned to quiet things and enjoy more in these last few days before Christmas. I found a little taste of what I was hoping for here :) Good for you. Thanks for the inspiration. God bless your Christmas with your sweet family. xo

December 15, 2014 - 12:40 pm

Grandma Cardinal - Beautiful Children!! Love them solo much! <3

December 11, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Maike - …and I just noticed: the way you parted Lacey’s hair, it gives her a beautiful heartshaped face ^_^

December 11, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Maike - Lavender looks so much different then your other girls. I’m so curious how she will look in a couple of months/years. Such a special and lovely family! <3

December 10, 2014 - 8:02 pm

Courtney - Beautiful girls! You are truly blessed! Merry Christmas to you and yours :)

December 10, 2014 - 12:27 am

Erin Lynn - Beautiful little women! Love their Christmas dresses, so sweet!

December 9, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Jenn - You have beautiful presents with very pretty smiles :)

Giving in a {Greedy} Society

 

In a world that is consumed with instagram selfies,  personal Facebook status updates, ‘I deserve a break’ mentality and a general North American spoiled lifestyle, how do we keep our children and our families from being sucked into this vicious vortex of selfishness and ungratefulness? Especially … during the holidays … when gifts are expected and wish lists are fine tuned …

 

From my {small} experience as a mom over the years, this is what we have done so far to keep the focus on giving to others during the Christmas season and to keep the greed at bay.

{Lovelyn, 4, packing a shoebox}

1. Don’t be so selfish. Seriously – look in the mirror and see if you see greed in your own face. If you are showing your children that you want, want, want, they will only learn by example. Start with a giving heart to others and turn the focus off yourself and your needs.

2. Stop asking your children write a wish list! I’m being honest here.  Sure, gently ask your child, if you so desire, what book they’d like to read next or maybe what interests them, but if you are a mom that spends time with your child, you probably already know these details and are already tuned in to what your child would love for a gift. Asking our children to start dreaming up a wish list that, in most cases, cannot be brought to fruition is only creating more ‘want’ and ‘give me’. Even if you can afford everything on your child’s beloved list, I can guarantee you, they do not need it.  In our family, we do not watch ‘television’ and my children haven’t seen a mall in about five years, so they are not inundated with ads and commercials that entice children to want, want, want. That does help, as well.

 

3. Focus on others. How can your family help bless another family at Christmas? Sign up for an adopt-a -family program, fill shoeboxes for children around the world, visit your neighbour  and bring home baked goodies, invite the widow from your church over for a nice Sunday lunch … the ideas are endless … but giving and blessings other is essential, not just at Christmas, but every month of the year (especially if you are Christians). Children can be the sweetest blessing and have the biggest hearts. Give your child a chance to be generous to others and turn their thoughts off themselves.

4. Limit the gifts to your children. It doesn’t matter if you can afford to buy them everything in the Sears Wish Book or the latest Apple gadget … think about it, did your parents give you $500 gifts when you were young? Probably not. If we are giving such elaborate toys and trinkets to our children now, what will they expect when they are adults? It seems, if are not careful, we are raising a generation of future selfish, self absorbed adults. Yes, bless your child with some sweet presents this Christmas – there is no harm in doing so! – but stop feeling guilty about not buying what you think is ‘enough’ … limit the gifts to a few precious, useful items – books, board games, audio books, Bibles, art sets, something  related to an activity where they learn to do with their parent (ie. fishing, hunting, wood working).

 

5. Spend less money, spend more time making traditions. Children love it when you spend time with them … instead of thinking that their holiday will be complete with the next purchase of a MiniGoPro video camera or the newest adorable American Girl goodies, notch out some dedicated family time in that busy schedule and spend time with the family – whether it is baking cookies {to give away and to keep to eat during family move night} or reading together by the fire, making gingerbread houses, go skating -  children love time spent with them. You don’t even have to wrap this sweet present.

6. Sponsor a child! This is a great way to show love to others! And it’s a year round way of showing love. Your children can write letters to your sponsor child and watch them grow up over time.

7. Focus on the perfect gift. Jesus. He really does sum up the Christmas season wonderfully. Every day, read Scripture leading up to Christmas. Prepare your hearts with Advent activities. If we are living as Christians, if we are reading the Word and trying to live Biblically, we should know that giving to others, spending less time on ourselves, discouraging selfishness and encouraging generosity and humbleness, loving others and sharing joy is a basic life principle. Christmas should not be about what we give our children, or what our children think they need. It needs to be about showing God’s love, whether it is to your closet family members or the strangers in the grocery store.

 

 

December 7, 2014 - 9:09 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - So sweet! And so true!! I love that the girls do the Shoe Boxes. Good job, Gillian, of keeping the true spirit of Christmas!

Paper {Snowflakes}

It’s Christmas time.

It’s magical and wonderful.

I love being able to experience Christmas year after year with the girls … it’s wonderful to step aside from a regular day to day schedule and slow things down {yes, we slow down for this season, not speed up}, read Christmas stories together, drink Christmas peppermint tea, cut out millions of paper snowflakes together and listen to Handel’s Messiah in the kitchen.

 

It did not take long until our table was filled with ‘snowflakes’…

We tied them to long sticks the girls found outside and hung them from the windows …

P.S. Here’s a simple tutorial for you if you need help remembering how to make these precious winter crafts …:)

 

 

December 8, 2014 - 1:32 pm

JES - So pretty and so peaceful! Just how winter days should be spent… Thank you for sharing this home sweet loving home inspiration on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Gigi! Please join in again this week if you have time :)

December 7, 2014 - 9:11 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Love the snowflakes … I should get them to make some for me to hang. :)