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. Chicken raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Twin Kids Have Arrived :)

Yesterday around 5 p.m., we went outside to lock up the barn for the night (as it gets dark quite early here right now) and lo and behold, Marigold, Lacey’s goat, had just given birth – to twins kids!

The girls were so squealing with excitement – it was all so wonderful!

Marigold delivered a buckling and a doeling … Lacey has named them Mercury and Magnolia.

{So grateful for the amazing mild November right now … !}

This is our third goat to kid this year and each time , it is just as lovely and exciting as ever.

November 30, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Samantha Erin - You inspire me :) what a cute post!

November 29, 2015 - 5:40 pm

Heather - What a fabulous experience for your family!

November 29, 2015 - 2:14 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - How exciting!! They are sooo cute!!

November 28, 2015 - 8:14 am

JES - Goat kids are so adorable and have such personality. It is exciting every time :)

November 28, 2015 - 1:50 am

Janelle - What a lovely little surprise! There’s nothing like snuggling up to a big goat, but there’s something so magical about holding a new kid. Beautiful names that Lacey picked, too.

November 28, 2015 - 12:04 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - So sweet and precious! You will be next, Gillian :) xoxo

Intentional Traditons

I didn’t really want to set up the Christmas village this year. Although it does not take too much time to set up,  it is a messy procedure to take down post Christmas.  I like a quick easy Christmas cleanup. I like simple and easy tasks right now.  As a parent, it was just easier to leave those charming little houses and music stores and pretty vintage churches in their boxes packed in the basement.

But …  there’s something so delightful about traditions that are remembered year after year … setting up the Christmas village is predictable for this family. It’s intentional … with hope that the children will remember the soft glow of the Christmas village that embraced the dining room …  in years to come, perhaps it will be woven into their Christmas memories of how our family celebrated the holiday together. And sitting in the living room yesterday afternoon, I suddenly realized the Christmas village was a tradition … maybe a small one, but one that the children love.

Sometimes making a memory takes intention. And it can take energy to make traditions.




This morning, I found Leia, our {very} early riser, playing with the village people and animals, breaking a few pieces in the process, but thoroughly enjoying the enchantment of the Christmas Village.


It was worth it to see her little face filled up with joy as she moved each piece around the snowy scenery.


Traditions are wonderful, even if they require parental work.:)


Our favorites traditions include:

-making presents for the neighbours {we used to walk and deliver them in town,
but this year, unless we can get Walter the goat to take us on his goat cart, I think we might be using a motorized vehicle!}
- making gingerbread houses together
{see this link for a great variation to buying the store bought ktis! With six children making a house, it would be one huge mess – and expensive – to buy kits so this is what we do now}
- Christmas movies at night
-a basket set out full of Christmas books to read- making cinnamon ornaments
- a newer tradition is having the older girls go to my mom’s house overnight to bake Christmas goodies – sure wish I was invited!;)
- putting up the lovely homemade felt Advent pieces up on the calendar each day
-sometimes we have an Advent wreath
{but I need to make one this year and am not sure I will have the time. I really enjoy the tradition of the Advent wreath though!}
- a Jesse tree
- of course, decorating the real Christmas tree, but that goes without saying!
- baking cinnamon buns {well, these can be done year round but they are rather Christmas-like, aren’t they?}


What are some of your Christmas traditions?


P.S. If you have never made cinnamon buns, you **must** try to do so this season. They are not hard at all. I remember trying to make them when we first moved into our home in Orangeville. I wanted to bake up a tray for everyone who helped us move. A friend came over and showed me how to make dough, and we attempted to make buns. Everything failed. The dough did not rise, nothing worked out. I’m not sure what went wrong but it made me fear the task of making cinnamon buns! Now, with a good dough recipe, you can easily master delicious homemade cinnamon buns! We don’t like them too sweet so sometimes I do not pour icing overtop. They are just as good with a slab of melted butter fresh out of the oven.



November 30, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Mara - Love Christmas traditions with family! I would love to try that cinnamon bun recipe. Please do share. They look absolutely delicious.

November 26, 2015 - 4:23 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - ummm your gonna share this yummy cinnamon bun recipe that works right?????:)

November 25, 2015 - 8:25 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Yum, those cinnamon buns look amazing!!! Good job, Gillian and girls!! Love traditions …. and looking forward to having the girls next weekend. xo

Saturday Ramblings

Like tiny sprinklings of icing sugar, the long-awaited (for us) snow is quietly falling from heaven outside my kitchen windows as I type.
I’m finally sitting – after a morning of stripping everyone’s beds, doing laundry, hanging sheets to dry outside on the line and beside the woodstove (we do not use a dryer),
cleaning floors, cleaning under beds, normal chores of a Saturday …
I’m tired now – by afternoon, my body feels like one big contraction … so a cup of tea beside the front woodstove is surely calling my name.

November is rushing by and with every Saturday that approaches, I feel more excitement for the birth of our baby and the celebration of the birth of the MOST important baby ever – Jesus. We love Christmas in this house, but that does not mean it needs to be stressful and overbooked and over-crowded. The decorations will be simple with candles, lights and a few homemade ornaments. Nothing incredible or Pinterest worthy … but homey and cozy and, hopefully, enchanting for my little girls. It’s a great honor to be a parent at Christmas time! So much excitement and joy and anticipation

{baking Christmas cookies with the three year old}


{one of my favorite things at Christmas is seeing the Christmas catcus bloom! Every house should have this plant …
it is perfectly timed with Easter and Christmas. How creative is our God!}


I read an article the other day about enjoying the winter months instead of complaining about them. I could not agree more. Could I challenge you to go through a whole winter without grumbling about the weather? It would be hard for most Ontario residents to do, I’m sure. But there are so many benefits and blessings of the winter season! Just think of the cozy nights, the hot chocolate by the fire, lighting candles as the sun sets earlier, snug and warm purring cats ready to cuddle on your lap, books to be read, movie nights to be had with family, popcorn on the woodstove, quieter nights and quieter days, ice skating, tobaganing, homemade mittens and tasty apple pies fresh from the oven. There are wonders to be had during the winter season – and not just throughout the holidays.

When I asked my girls what season was their favorite, nearly all of them said Autumn or winter – which really surprised me. We do a lot of fun things in the summer – we LIVE outdoors, we rarely come inside, there are animals to play with and fresh food to eat … and yet, they still love the cooler months.

I love the quiet of the winter months. I also think it’s a perfect time to have a baby – you do not need to rush about and you can stay cozy at home and cuddle your baby without worrying about tending to the gardens, the much needed summer chore list and so forth. There are less chores in the winter for some and I appreciate that.

This is our first year with goats to be kept during the winter. It will be interesting to see how they appreciate or dislike the colder weather. So thankful for sweet barn my husband built {all for free!} this summer. It’s just perfect for our goats. We’re also awaiting the next kidding in the barnyard …
Lacey’s goat, Marigold, is pregnant and ready to pop. Not the best timing for a goat birth, but we will pray all goes smoothly!

Today, we set up the cradle for the new baby in our room. It was a Kijiji last minute find and I am so grateful. The previous owners even delivered it for me! What a blessing! You would think we would have a cradle after all these babies but we have either borrowed or had friends lend their cradles in the past. We do have one vintage crib {which I love} that I will set up as the baby grows to be about six months.

{picture to come later – Leia was napping our room whilst I took time for tea… and sadly that means I am redoing all our bedding from an ill-planned accident … }

P.S. Today, I’m also attempting to make bread on the woodstove. For all of the winter months, I do 90% of my cooking on the woodstove (it is amazingly efficient and not as hard as it may sound).
We cook everything on there – from toast, oatmeal, roasts, whole chickens, potatoes (even baked potatoes, rolled in tin foil and placed in the ashes for an hour or so), biscuits, everything … but I have yet to conquer making bread on top the woodstove.
I don’t think I have the proper Dutch oven for it, but we shall see. I’m hoping to one day save up and have a wood cookstove in our kitchen -
as it is a little bit, um, annoying (too strong of a word) to carry all the foods and spices and utensils whenever I want to cook to the back room where the woodstove resides.

P.P.S. The bread did not quite turn out- had to resort back to using the regular stove which produced a lovely loaf for dinner. I will continue with future attempts!

November 30, 2015 - 12:01 am

Leslie - Thank you for sharing. I linked-up from Strangers and Pilgrims. I love the photos. How you arrange your children is precious and seems to catch each one’s personality (staring into the camera rather than always smiling). Your home seems to have a little Cath Kidson simplicity.

Wishing you a good birth. I, too have been pregnant at the same time as our nannies. What a blessing to expect an eternal soul into one’s home and an animal that will help in feeding the family (in milk, of course).


November 29, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Heather - Absolutely gorgeous photos documenting your sweet little life :)

November 25, 2015 - 9:58 am

Jen Heemskerk - Your home looks so cozy- the photos look as if they are from a magazine!

November 22, 2015 - 4:31 pm

admin - Maike, yes, for us (and for others, I’m sure), a wood cookstove would be cost efficient – as we would be heating a part of our house (kitchen and surrounding areas) as well as doing all the cooking and baking. Right now, I cook on the woodstove in the back room since the fire is going anyways – we keep water boiled there, cook most meals on it, etc. but I cannot bake on it (yet! I am slightly determined to figure out how I can possibly make it work!). I would LOVE a cookstove in the kitchen. It would be a dream come true. :)
Our Home – yes, homemade bread is a favorite around here! I absolutely love making bread!

November 22, 2015 - 2:49 pm

Maike - Oh I very much hope that the goat birth goes well. This really isn’t the best timing. Is a woodstove and getting the necessary wood for it less expensive then having one of the modern ovens to make food in and on?

November 22, 2015 - 10:28 am

Our Home of Many Blessings - Your house is so simply beautiful! I love older houses with there carvings around every door frame and window and such.Such creativity….We don’t have snow yet,but i know it’s coming soon.I am not a fan of winter at all,but I still love the scents and activities that go on.As for making bread….I am still struggling with this one.But when we do have a successful loaf..ohhhh the amazing smell and warm homey feel it gives.Sending little prayers your way, for a sweet little bundle of joy to arrive safely and your new addition in your goat family as well!

New {Old} Bed

With the upcoming arrival of baby #7, we’ve had to make some bedroom/sleeping adjustments. For about 3/4 of a year, Leia (our fiesty, very smart and mischevious three year old) has been sleeping in our room so we could, literally, keep an eye on her. She is the type of child who does everything you least expect and nothing you anticipate … oh, the stories I could tell you! However, with baby coming into our room soon, we needed to rethink our sleeping situation as baby will be sleeping in our room and Lavender is still (of course) sleeping in the crib in the nursery.


The three biggest girls sleep together in one room. Adjacent to their room is the “library” -  which also connects to a bathroom. Strange setup – but we live in an old, old home and nothing is ‘normal’. We were unsure about putting Leia in the same room as the bathroom, access to a little porch and access to the big girls room and a secret staircase (man, that’s a lot of exits she could use!) … but so far, so good. Just this week, we put her new (to her) bed into her room {she’s been sleeping in a trundle bed which her daddy made}, which she shares with our five year old. It’s fantastic – she loves it, she feels so great having her own bed and it’s adorable seeing the two girls together in their room …


Let the party begin.




November 16, 2015 - 4:40 pm

Tawnia - Your 3 year old sounds just like mine! She shares a room with her 8 year old sister but she often ends up with us. With impending baby#4 we will be moving our soon-to-be 2 year old into the sisters’ room and hopefully she will happily stay there…we hope! :) I love the old metal beds!

November 15, 2015 - 12:16 am

Bobbie - Such sweet girlies! We have a similiar set up with our crew.We have 5 girls and 2 boys.Im curious as to how you have your older girls room also,and your nursery.Love the girls beds and the sweet,simple look to there room.

November 14, 2015 - 8:56 pm

admin - Jen, I’ll try to take a picture for you. The three girls have a rather spacious room but in the past we have used the trundle bed for the extra bed (rolls underneath the big girls’ bed) or two share a bed together, which saves lots of room… I’m a big advocate of sharing rooms growing up. :) It’s good for them – and when we are married, we still share a room, don’t we?

November 14, 2015 - 7:58 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Our three little women share a room but Evie is moving out of her “toddler bed” so I’m trying to figure out a better way of re-arranging the bedroom to make it suitable for 3! I’m curious…How did you set up the older girls bedroom?

Bow Heavy

Because there are so many of us, we have an unwritten rule that everyone needs their beds made, their hair done and they should be dressed before breakfast … it helps me to not have to chase down the little ones to get ready after they have eaten and run off to play.

The bigger girls are so helpful … they are great in the morning, assisting in doing multiple heads of hair (can you imagine how long it takes to do six – seven, myself included – heads of hair?!) before breakfast and before their barn chores…





This morning, I think Lavender’s head received all the attention …;)


P.S. And yes, she looks so big to me in these photos! She’s now 18 months old … she’s so much fun at this age!


November 14, 2015 - 6:46 am

Gillian - Thanks, girls … she is so sweet to us, too. :)

Sorry for not replying, Maike. My email is not working right now.
Well, the prairie dresses – yes, we search high and low for those. Some we find at thrift stores, some we have had made for the girls … they are hard to find but wonderful when you do find them! has some but that is not the cheapest way to buy them. If only I could sew better, I would make more! (Although, in the picture you first commented on, I made that skirt – which was a big deal for me! A start in sewing!)

November 14, 2015 - 12:36 am

Maike - She does look so much bigger indeed and she doesn’t look as chubby anymore as she did when she was smaller. ^_^

Can you tell me where you got the prairie dresses from?

November 13, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Tawnia - So sweet!

November 13, 2015 - 4:01 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - I can’t believe that she is so grown up already!!!! So cute, I love all the bows! And the attitude … she knows she is the model :)

November 12, 2015 - 9:24 pm

Jen Heemskerk - I can’t believe your baby is so grown up now!! She is so adorable!