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. ♥

Our First {Possible} Clutch

Although I enjoy the calm, the slower schedule and the beautiful stillness of the winter months, it has felt like a long winter for our animals.

Our chickens need a better coop (I guess it will be a spring project for us) … our ducks are doing fine (although  one guy had frostbite on his caruncle -{ yes, we know what that means…. oh, the things you learn with animals and nature!)} … and our little call ducks are so small (full grown) that they keep getting dirty… well, let’s just say, they are at the bottom of the coop … where all the poop falls … and with 30 chickens above them, it’s not very fun. The male duck was also limping, therefore we wanted to ensure he was okay. We brought the two smallest, Tod and Libby, in to see if we could clean them up. After a nice warm bath and some preening, they looked much better.

 

 

Turns out, they preferred the cozy warmth of inside compared to the bitter cold winds of outside. I don’t blame them – the temperatures have plunged to a chilly -40C lately. So after some discussion, the girls set up the duck couple’s “Florida” home in our mudroom. We were also hoping this would encourage them to lay some eggs and possibly have babies! These are our most expensive ducks so if they have babies, the girls can sell them at the chicken and duck swap in the spring (Oh yes, such a thing exists).

 

So every day, we watched. We checked their pen to see if maybe we would find an egg. We were unsure if our hopes were too high – but yesterday, we were rewarded!

 

A sweet tiny little egg (about the size of a golf ball) ….

 

 

The girls were so excited, jumping up and down as they peeked into the pen …  we were so proud of Libby – her first egg …

 

The next day, she laid another egg … and then one more today!

 

That makes three in her little clutch – we are unsure if she will lay more (but we’re hoping) … we have read that she will probably not sit on her eggs until she’s done laying. So far, she’s not really sitting on the eggs all the time. We have been looking up how to candle eggs, how to tell if the embryo is developing, what to look for to prove it is growing … Lacey, my 11 year old, was the first to spot the air sac.

 

This is exactly the kind of learning experience I desired for my children when we first decided to move out of town and into the country. Real hands-on, true life learning experiences are so delightful for the children … seeing new life form and helping nurture animals is a great way to teach children responsibility …

{How does one tell a duck from a drake? The drake always has a curled tail feather.
“Look for the curl  – the opposite duck is the girl!”

We are really hoping something happens with these eggs – we know there is a chance that they won’t all make it to hatching day. If are few ducklings make it, then the girls will have the opportunity to sell their new ducks at the chicken and duck show in the spring … a little side business for them to earn some money …

In the meantime, we are hoping that Tod and Libby will soon become proud parents of a few, cut fluffy ducklings!

Spring is coming …

 

 

 

February 24, 2015 - 9:41 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Cute .. hope an egg hatches :) Love the waddling duck picture … would make a great canvas! xo

February 24, 2015 - 6:35 pm

Katrina - AHHH!!! I instantly thought of Jemima Puddle Duck :)

Be Careful {little eyes what you see}

“Be careful little eyes what you see,
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see,
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see.”

As parents, we need to guide and guard what our children’s read, watch on t.v. (if you have t.v.) or see through the internet. We cannot sit back and let the world guide our children’s eyes. It saddens me to see little children’s minds soaking up the ways of the world through best-selling books or the most popular movies of the day.

When I asked one friend, who has young boys to raise and is very careful as to what they read or watch for movies, how she judges which movies are appropriate for her sons or not, her husband quoted back this Scripture:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

 

How very true and wise for Christian parents!

We, as parents, must be on our guard … as sometimes, the world can be so easily packaged as something attractive. It takes us years before we realize we have slowly let the un-pure seep into our homes – and our children’s hearts and minds.  It can be safely suggested that most mainstream media, books, movies are not going to line up with this Scripture. Of course, we also need to be guarding what we watch, see, or read as adults, as well …

 

 

I recently heard this on a radio program, comparing the top three authors of 21st century to the top three books of 18th century. It is clear to see  how far our standards have fallen.

 21st Century best selling authors:

E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey
Stephanie Meyers’ The Twilight Series
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

18th Century best selling authors:

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim Progress
Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will
John Foxe,   The Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

 

There are so many wonderful books for children and families to read together – and they do not have anything to do with casting spells, terrible manners and disrespect or vampires and zombies. They offer character traits to be sought after, adventures that are clean and fun, stories of families going through trials together and staying together, children learning about the Great Earth around them, discovering God’s nature …

Here are a few of our favorite to add to the last list:

My Side of the Mountain
Indian in the Cupboard
Misty of Chincoteague
Anne of Green Gables
Missionary Stories with the Millers
Pippi Longstockings
Gentle Ben
Because of Win-Dixie
Around the World in 90 Days
All of a Kind Family
Dr. Doolittle
Swiss Family Robinson
Charlotte’s Web
Mary Poppins
Red Sails to Capri
Little Women
Sarah, Plain and Tall
The Little House on the Prairie series
Robinson Crusoe
The Sugar Creek Gang

I’ve recently gone through our book stash and movie collection and tossed some items that no longer lined up with Scriptures, using Philippians 4:8 as a guideline.
I remember my parents doing the same thing as a child … and now, I am thankful and completely grateful.
Hopefully, one day my children will feel the same way.

 

 

 

{Ten}

Happy 10 months to our chubbalicious little {big} baby, Lavender …

God is so good to have blessed our family with 18.5 lb. Lavender Kate Delight  – I’m so grateful!

What we love about having our sweet sixth baby in our family:

… When her little sisters say her name, it sounds like “La-dder”…

.

.. She’s sooo chubby and rolly polly – we’ve never had a marshmallow baby till now – and it sure is cute!

… The way she laughs and tries to dance when we sing “Johnny Appleseed” for our dinner prayer …

… Her sweet cuddles at night with me {She’s not sleeping the night yet but I don’t mind} …

… her toothless smile {no teeth yet but I’m sure they are coming soon!} …

I cannot imagine our life without her. Just like each and every child He has given us, the Lord knew exactly what our family needed when He sent her to us.

I’m so glad I have been chosen to be her mother!

Nine months…

Lavender Kate Delight is now 9 {and a half!}  months old … oh, if only I could slow down time … {sigh} I will be grateful for every stage, though, and drink up every delightful moment of raising these children …

 

February 7, 2015 - 9:46 pm

Barbara - Loved reading your praise of motherhood, truly the world’s best work and nearly most important!! XXOO B

February 7, 2015 - 1:56 pm

Heather - I’m sitting here admiring little Lavender with my Emily and telling her all about how beautiful she was too with the thick, dark hair and big brown eyes. Yes, if only we could bottle time. But, you’re right, every stage is something to celebrate!
Hope to see you in Kitchener this year again :)

Blessings upon Blessings…

Children – are you seeing them truly as a blessing or a curse, an annoyance, a punishment, to your life?

A recent conversation with some friends was, sadly, very eye-opening  …  each conversation was “me- focused”,  excluding their children, speaking of how they avoided doing things together as a family by serving their own needs first, and complaining in general about the raising of children, even other people’s children. I don’t think this lady even realized what she was saying or how her words sounded …  In the Christian circle, we may say children are a blessing – but do our actions speak the same words? What are our children seeing? Are they seeing themselves as a bother, as a nuisance, as a hindrance in fulfilling our own goals and desires in life? Yes, children come attached with noise, dirt, laundry, chores and your needs are definitely not first in line if you are mother.   But didn’t Christ say to lay down our lives, to be the servant of all? Motherhood is about serving with joy in our heart. {Matthew 23:11}

It is common to hear mothers say: “I used to  be able to to do {insert activity of choice … go for coffee dates, have a career, help out at church,  go on random shopping trips} and then I had kids.”

It is even more common for mothers to find ways so they may resume said activities and often times, miss out on the amazing blessings of laying your life down to serve your family.

I find that so heart breaking … I wish I could tell all mothers everywhere “You have one chance to raise your children! Don’t miss this beautiful calling!”

The Bible says to have a child is to be blessed. {Psalm 127:3-5}

It doesn’t say it will be one big picnic with chocolate frosted cupcakes and sunshine every day … but it does say God considers children a reward. Children are gifts given by the King of Kings – if God gave you a gift, would you shuffle it off so carelessly? Or would you treasure it, protect it, nurture it with excitement?  If God was giving money as a gift, we would surely say “More, more!” but when it comes to blessing families with children, we often put the brakes on and find ways to permanently stop receiving children – and often times, hurry along the ‘growing up’ of children so as to have our ‘free time’ back again. It is sometimes done even without realizing it’s happening – but slowly and with great craftiness, the world can seep into our homes, into our family life and day by day, pull our children away from parents and parents from their children.

Please understand, I am not saying you need to make a child centered world – by no means am I encouraging the spoiling of children by making them the centre of your universe. However, it does tell us in the Bible that we are to be training, raising, guarding our children, loving them and keeping our focus on God and family. In a me-centered world, it is easy to flip our priorities around without even noticing.

Children *are* a blessing. {Matthew 19:4} We may say this but do we act the same way, especially around our children? Or do we hush them to return that phone call or text a friend, grumble about them around friends {I know I have to guard my tongue with this one as the toddler years can be daunting!}, and push them away when want to help in the kitchen and everybody knows, baking with children will take twice as long and be three times as messy!

But children grow. And quickly!

The time that God has given us together is short – guarding our time spent together should be important. While it may seem natural, don’t be tempted to separate so quickly as a family. {Proverbs 22:6} Practical ways of staying together are easily implanted – going to volunteer at a booth for your church or for a ministry-related program? Take your daughter or son with you! Let them learn and serve with you! If a dad is going to Bible Study at church, he could take his son – imagine the godly examples he will see instead of staying home and using his time watching t.v. or surfing the internet. Going on a missions trip? Take your children! Going to the store for a quick errand? Take an older child with you to be a helper! And you never know, you may have a chance to witness to the lady behind the counter that smiles so tiredly at you and your few children in line. {Proverbs 22:6}

 

As a homeschooling mom, raising and teaching my children is a never ending task. Priorities need to be: God first, then husband and children. This family of mine is precious – and I must guard my eyes from taunting, sparkling ways of the world that will pull me from my job as a mother.  {Again, I am not suggesting a mother cannot take a coffee break with a friend, but perhaps we need to ensure our priorities are lined up Biblically – have your children truly seen you this week? Have you spent one on one time with them? Truly listening to their heart? Is your husband needing you? Are there chores at home that need tending but have been shirked because of idleness?}

 

I pray my actions speak louder than my words … because it is all too easy to complain about the work and tasks and never ending chores that are automatically assumed in the role of motherhood and in raising a family … but if God calls children a BLESSING and not a curse, I will gladly embrace such words of life!

 

 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127: 1-5

February 3, 2015 - 5:57 pm

Krista - I really love this post. I sent it to some family members, replacing Mom with “parents”. It’s a reminder to Mom’s and Dad’s and very timely. Really great post!!! Thank you!

February 2, 2015 - 8:42 am

Jen Heemskerk - Psalm 127 is our family verse. Great post!

February 1, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Heather - Well said. I wholeheartedly agree, especially as I feel the years flying by. However, the reminder of your words is still necessary for those of us who agree. At any given tiring moment, I can become selfish too. Thank you :)

January 31, 2015 - 4:52 pm

Nicole - Sweet looking pictures.

January 31, 2015 - 8:24 am

JES - I agree with you completely. The sad part that these parents aren’t realizing is that one day their children will grow up and become adults. These parents are going to want to spend time with them now that they are self sufficient and the children may not have time for them because they weren’t family oriented in the beginning. And then when the parents age and the -children will be a blessing to them-, the children may not want to be because their upbringing didn’t foster it. They may end up in retirement homes all alone with no visitors because they didn’t invest in their families at a young age. Sorry to go on and on but I think of these things often as I see older couples struggling and lonely with families that are just not interested in them. Thanks for sharing this at the Art of Home-Making Mondays.

January 30, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Carrie - Beautiful words and pictures! I love everything that you said. I am so thankful for my blessings. Thank you for the reminder when those who have children hear the opposite message in this world. Have a great day!

January 30, 2015 - 2:45 pm

Katrina - Children truly are a blessing – there’s no question about it. But, I think a lot of the issue is that Mothers have it in their mind that they need the free time, the mom time, the time away from the children – they’re looking back at their old lives, in a sense.

It took a while for me to grasp that my life is now centered around my home – my homemaking, husband, children. I didn’t realize that trying to get away from them, and long to do the things I used to do was so bad. It’s a different season in life having a house full of little ones to rear. It is not a light calling to bring up children in the Lord! What an honor to be able to do so!

There is nothing wrong with a break now and then – I need it, you need it, we all need it. Just to take a breath, center ourselves, and rejuvenate. But I think, at least in my life, it had all boiled down to dying to my old, childless self, and begin to seriously EMBRACE motherhood and all that goes along with it.