Gigi's Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

A Short Chat 💙

March 29, 2020 - 10:43 pm

Kim He’s just precious! Congratulations!

March 28, 2020 - 6:15 am

Ruthie I had not checked back in a couple of weeks and lo and behold, your precious baby boy has arrived!! What a wonderful blessing! So happy for your family.

March 27, 2020 - 9:52 pm

Teresa @ SF Awe, what a beautiful blessing. He is adorable and mama looks wonderful also. Thank you for sharing this with us. Thankful you all are well and safe. We are staying home and loving it. Hugs to you sweet friend.

March 27, 2020 - 7:17 pm

Monica What a precious gift! Luther is a doll and you are a beautiful, radiant mama! Thank you for sharing this sweet clip with us. Xoxoxo!

March 27, 2020 - 5:01 am

Linda Congratulations Gigi, what a blessing to have another precious wee baby to snuggle. Luther is such a great name and such a beautiful boy. You look amazing too!!! I’m so happy that everything went well for you and I know you’ll have so many willing helpers right there in your own home. Blessings and prayers ~ Linda (new Zealand)

March 26, 2020 - 6:54 pm

Jen What a wonderful little video!!! He’s adorable and all the newborn squeaks!! I’m obsessed!! You look amazing too! Thank you for sharing a little bit of your life with us today.

March 26, 2020 - 2:10 pm

Kristal I watched your video. You are so right, his little baby coos and grunts are the cutest. I’m so glad you had a healthy home birth. I don’t know how the virus is progressing in Canada, but I glad you were able to give birth in a safe and healthy environment. Looking forward to hearing more. Take care Gillian! ~Kristal

March 26, 2020 - 1:13 pm

Rebecca Oh he’s so cute and squeaky!!!! My due date is also April 8th, but I have always gone overdue, not early. I can’t wait to hear about his birth — I am unfortunetely one of those people who birth centers/homebirths haven’t worked out for, but I love to hear about them!

A Quick Hello with Luther in Arms …

With all the craziness happening out in the world .. we are still snuggled up in our little home, with our family around us, healthy and happy and trusting God.

We have not had internet for most of the past week so I am quickly just posting a photo and will come back to write a full update shortly.


I hope you are all doing well and stay peaceful and calm. There is no hope other than in God – let your hope and trust in Him carry you through whatever you may be facing.

We are loving having this little baby in our home … oh, I can’t wait to tell you more about his snuggly little life and the fresh joys of having another newborn to love and hold. God is good. xx {{hugs to you all}} Thank you for kind words on his welcome!

 

 

March 27, 2020 - 4:34 pm

Tawnia He is so beautiful, congratulations on your newest blessing ♥️

March 26, 2020 - 12:13 pm

Bethany Awww! So precious! Congratulations!!

March 26, 2020 - 1:08 am

Rebecca So good to get an update, especially with all the craziness right now in the world. Can’t wait to read more!

March 25, 2020 - 11:34 pm

Regina Shea He’s such a gorgeous baby. You all take care and don’t get sick.

A {Slightly Early} Blessing Straight from Heaven ….

While the rest of the world rushes about in current chaos … we are in baby bliss …

more details to come whilst little one snuggles up with his momma …

 

March 25, 2020 - 5:42 pm

Julie Oh, how precious! Congratulations!

March 25, 2020 - 5:01 am

Sarah Behan Congratulations! What a beautiful bundle of joy!

March 24, 2020 - 10:18 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA What a precious gift! Congrats to you and your family.

March 22, 2020 - 2:12 pm

Danessa stride Congratulations on the arrival of your sweet baby boy. Such a great blessing

March 22, 2020 - 12:15 pm

Diane Oh congratulations to your family! Beautiful tiny little boy! Stay safe, stay home and well in these difficult times!

March 22, 2020 - 6:45 am

Heather Congratulations to you and your family ! Wishing you all the best ! What a sweetheart

March 22, 2020 - 2:11 am

Rachel How wonderful you have been blessed with another sweet baby! He looks so precious and peaceful! I hope you are feeling well and baby boy is healthy. Congratulations!

March 21, 2020 - 11:14 pm

Homeofmanyblessings Congrats,mama!!!He is adorable!!

March 21, 2020 - 11:00 pm

Tracy Nevin Gillian!!!!!!

Wait what!! All these babies. Your so blessed. I miss your face!
Luv u

March 21, 2020 - 8:25 am

Alice Duits How Exciting to hear your beautiful baby boy has arrived safely. What a blessing for your whole family. I think of Psalm 127. Wonderful promises in this Psalm. I am so happy for you, Gigi. Well done !

March 20, 2020 - 9:53 pm

jen Congratulations!!!! Wonderful news!!! Thankful to hear of his safe arrival!!! He’s absolutely perfect!!!

March 20, 2020 - 6:35 pm

Kim Congratulations!!!

March 20, 2020 - 11:29 am

Erin Lynn He is gorgeous!!! Congratulations!!! May he be blessed of God.

March 20, 2020 - 7:00 am

Teresa @ SF Congratulations to your family! How are you feeling momma? Take care of yourself. I am so happy for you all!

March 19, 2020 - 9:10 pm

Liz How did you decide on the name Luther? Martin Luther King? Luther Vandross?

March 19, 2020 - 12:43 pm

Nancy Congratulations to you and your family, Gigi, on your newest blessing. Luther is beautiful and I am thankful to read of his safe arrival.

March 19, 2020 - 11:21 am

Paula Thank you for sharing your blessing with us…he is a bright spot in our days for sure. Congrats.

March 19, 2020 - 1:45 am

Courtney A boy! What wonderful news! Sending a huge, heartfelt congratulations to you and your family!

March 18, 2020 - 6:19 pm

Regina Shea Oh he’s so cute that I want to kiss the tablet screen! Congratulations and I can’t wait to hear the details.

March 18, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Gramma Cardinal He is so cute! What a bundle of joy! He already looks like Daddy! <3

March 18, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Lynnea Precious!! Wonderful!! So happy for you and your family!!

March 18, 2020 - 5:49 pm

Kristal Oh my goodness, congratulations! Enjoy the baby cuddles. Looking forward to heading more!

March 18, 2020 - 5:30 pm

Monica XOXO! You are so loved, little Luther! ❤️❤️❤️ Yes, indeed a new birth puts things in perspective!

March 18, 2020 - 4:10 pm

Rebecca Another boy!!!! Congrats!!! He’s so tiny and adorable! I’m due with a baby boy the first week of April, but since I’ve always gone past my due date, I’m sure I’ve got several weeks or more left.

March 18, 2020 - 2:16 pm

Laura Sturtevant Congratulations! He is perfectly beautiful! God is so good!

March 18, 2020 - 2:14 pm

Laura Sturtevant Congratulations! He is perfectly beautiful! Enjoy ths snuggles!

In Apple-Pie Order: Deep Cleaning the Home {Before Baby}

“In fact it was an immense relief to them all to have a little work, and they took hold with a will, but soon realized the truth of Hannah’s saying, “Housekeeping ain’t no joke.”

~ Louisa May Alcott
Little Women

 

The baby timeline is on for this family … we have just a few weeks until baby #9 is due!

[the cutest diaper ‘cake’ made for our baby from the church ladies – so special!
We are so blessed!]

 

Sometimes, Abby and I feel like this is not a large family … we feel “normal” – but other times, when all the children are lined up or when we go places and people stop and ask if they are all ours, we look at each other and laugh a little in good fun and think, “Wow… how did we get here?”

{the children and I at our church group baby shower–
in order –Lyla, Leia, Lucia, Lazarus, Lovelyn, Lavender, Lacey & Loyal}

 

It has been quite the journey – this parenting course – but we are so honored and pleased that God has given us so many blessings.
Now, we are about to welcome another little one into our arms. Truly, this pregnancy has gone by so quickly! I supposed it would, seeing as I have a full house to care for, homeschooling and home order. However, it was winter and therefore I expected it to be a bit slower – but still, the days whisked by as quickly as the whirling snowflakes outside our kitchen windows.

Also, coming with the baby will be the beginning of our Spring – bliss! – which means we will be outside more and eventually … back into the gardens – both the flowers and vegetables. I realize my next season will be busy with a babe in arms and a garden and family to care for and finishing up the school year, Lord willing.

 

Knowing this, this is the time to do a deep clean of our home. I don’t want to be worried about crumbs in the back of my cupboards when I could be snuggling my little newborn. And I do want to be outside enjoying those first rays of sunshine when they crack through the April showers and blissfully drinking tea and snuggling with a sweet baby in the shade of our porch swing.

 

I knew this was the time to do some deep cleaning and get our home in apple pie order! Spring cleaning and nesting all rolled into one task!

Yes, we clean all the time – it seems we are constantly cleaning, clearing out, decluttering and yet, things still become very dirty, dusty and disorganized. We maintain cleanliness, but I find the house still needs special attention when that spring light peeks through the curtains. A layer of dust is always discovered hidden away from our woodstoves and often, the walls need a good old fashioned scrub down.

It is tricky with an ever-growing baby bump in the way of bending — but the spring cleaning must be done. Thankfully, I have an army of (willing? yes?) helpers who can be paid with a movie night or a special ice cream night to help me out. However, I have found if I wake up with the energy to clean, I get going – as the next day I may be too tired and too busy with homeschooling to give proper attention to deep cleaning. This has meant waking up at 4:30 a.m. and scrubbing walls, but do not worry — I  never stay up late anymore. 🙂 I always snuggle down in my comfortable bed when the children go to bed, read my current book and drink some tea to relax. It is bliss after a busy day of scrubbing, teaching, cooking and cleaning.

[the lovely violet teacup gifted to me by a blog reader – thank you ever so much! It is just fabulous!]

We have been wiping baseboards, painting trim, cleaning out closets, ripping out closets (yes, I was tired of our bedroom closet and Mr. Husband graciously decided to just rip it out and replace it with an antique wardrobe – much smaller and easier to keep clean for me!), painting parlour walls after four years of smokey air from woodstoves, cleaning out drawers, re-arranging … basically everything is getting cleaned.

This week, I tackled the kitchen. We don’t have a large kitchen, but it is not too small either. It does take time to go through everything. I separated the kitchen areas into certain days to clean. The cookstove, the cupboards, under the sink, every cupboard needed cleaning out and organizing  … one question I asked myself is: would I be embarrassed if someone looked in this cupboard/closet, etc. while I was upstairs, holding baby and busy? If so, it needs cleaning!

{Isn’t this needlework precious? Thank you, again, for sending it my way. It is a perfect addition to our violet themed dining room!}

I truly believe the best way to clean is just start —  begin with whatever time you have, whether it’s 20 minutes a day or an hour an afternoon. Then, take everything out of the area you are cleaning – if it’s a cupboard, take everything out, pile it up on the counter and begin with a good wiping with spray cleaner. This does not mean you need to take apart every single cupboard all at once – do what you can manage in the time slot you have. Do not overwhelm yourself,  but do little bits every day to keep your home clean or to work on that spring cleaning task.

I took everything out of the cupboards and wiped and wiped … and wiped. I re-arranged, changed the order of some sections; now, everything seems so much cleaner (but, we’re still looking for the spatula and potato masher … where did I put it?). I have one more cupboard to go through – inside the hoosier – but it will get done today. The pantry, a well used section of our kitchen, always needs attention and a little cleaning and tidying up.

One thing that has helped is I made up a cleaning kit for the girls. They love the new cleaning baskets and it has refreshed our cleaning attempts. I use just a simple spray bottle from the dollar store and added a few drops of Mrs. Meyers cleaning solution, diluted with water. It smells divine.  As we only use washable rags and ditched the paper towels years ago, we are using these cloths for cleaning and they are doing a fabulous job.

I also have these cloths for the windows. I’m working on cleaning all the windows during the warm day. There are quite a few windows in this old home, and after a long winter, they certainly need shining up. Vinegar is a great cleaner for windows – but these rags are also a fabulous tool! [Splurge if you have to and buy yourself some for your spring cleaning!]

 

In the bathrooms, I have wilted a little with the natural cleaner and am using PineSol on the floors for a good, fresh cleaning. I do not use it for everything, but the floors receive quite a lot of wear with 10 pairs of feet, a dog and two cats walking indoors. Sometimes I feel a fresh floor requires a bit more attention.

My other favorite cleaner is my new steam mop – it works wonders and only cleans with steam! I use this daily on all my floors. It is well worth the money.

 

With all this cleaning, I’m quite ready to fall into bed and sleep at the end of the day. With a satisfied feeling of having a clean house, dreams come swiftly.

 

 

March 20, 2020 - 11:31 am

Erin Lynn You are so inspiring to this mama! Love the beautiful pic of you and your precious children! What treasures!

March 20, 2020 - 7:13 am

Teresa @ SF Dear Gigi, what a beautiful family! Your home is lovely – I love how you romance each room with flowers . Just beautiful! I’ve been away a while doing some catching up on your blog. Hugs to you and your new baby. Take care of yourself.

March 14, 2020 - 8:10 am

Homeofmanyblessings How exciting!!! Nice picture too! Iv never used a steam mop before,I might have to check that out.

March 13, 2020 - 5:21 pm

Melanie Congrats Gillian!!! Love the picture of all the L’s with you! Hope you’re all doing well!

March 11, 2020 - 10:54 am

Kristal You are looking radiant! I am so excited for you and your family. I bet you are truly looking forward to meeting this little one face to face. We just learned several weeks ago that we are expecting as well. We have had quite a few miscarriages, so I am cautious (we have not shared with the children or family yet), but I’m praying for the Lord’s hand in it all. It’s hard not to be excited about it. It has been almost 4 years since I’ve had a little one to hold! Your latest blogs have been so wonderful. So many great ideas I want to implement. Praying for you Gillian! I hope you have a wonderful delivery.

March 11, 2020 - 10:07 am

Monica I love a clean, fresh house! Good for you! And here’s hoping you get some relaxing time with that sweet little bundle coming soon. Beautiful, fresh pictures!

A Post Full of Good Food {Getting the Freezer ready for Baby}

“No one has been given more than 24 hours for each day.
The secret is not to get more time. It is to manage our time.
It takes only a little time to plan the savings of much time.

Use your freezer to save time. Prepare freezer main dishes.
Set aside a period of time when you are most relaxed and free of other chores to prepare several dishes for the freezer at a time. You do not need to set aside an entire day for this, nor do you need to prepare an entire month of meals all at once.
In just two to four hours, you can easily prepare four to five main dishes for the freezer.
If you do not own a freezer, freezer meals are worth buying one for!
You will be amazed at how quickly your freezer will fill up with tasty made-in-advance dishes once you embark on an easy plan that suits your own busy schedule.”

-Emilie Barnes & Sue Gregg, The 15 Minute Meal Planner

 

The opera music was playing over the record player in the dining room … ground beef was simmering away on the cookstove and the parcel of healthy, energetic children were just about to romp around outside in the freshly fallen snow. If you were to peek into my warm kitchen, you would find a huge, super sized mixing bowl of just-mashed-potatoes with melted butter mixed in and many, many casserole dishes, lined up like a little army on my counter. Rolling up my sleeves and donning a fresh apron, it was time to get some meals prepped.

 

Ahhh, home life. A wonderful place to be. School was finished for the day and I was no able to peer menacingly at my to-do list.

 

{Our Basset Hound, Rip, knows where to stay  out of trouble and comfortable …
in front of the fire in his master’s arm chair…}


[homemade pumpkin loaf]

 

With the impending arrival of baby #9, I’ve been wanting to scratch off items on my to-do list with a flourish. Yes, there is and will always a list to do– of course- but that is okay. I’m happy with getting things done around my home. So while this little baby is still growing safely inside of my womb, it’s time to start fluffing up the nest a little and getting the home ready for another tiny resident.

To get ready for another little member of our family, I probably choose the strangest ways to ‘nest’. Such as spring cleaning, freezer meals and painting trim and banged up, well-used doors. My little boys love to help mommy …

 

 

 

But on to the food portion of this post ….and the list, held firmly in my hand.

This week’s tasks, I had decided, was preparing some freezer meals for post baby weeks…. this will make life so much more simple after the baby is born, I thought, as I spooned in large ladle fulls of browned ground beef into casserole dishes.

Although I was prepped for a long session in the kitchen, surprisingly, this one task did not take me very long (a few hours one morning). It sure put my mind at ease to know there is a section in my freezer with some lovely, healthy meals ready for the crockpot. I decided it would be easiest to split up the meats and do them on separate days. The first day, I prepared all the chicken meals.

[tray of main chicken meals]

 

For chicken dishes in the freezer, we have:

* BBQ chicken ( made from homemade BBQ sauce)
* Breaded Parmesan chicken – so easy and so good – I used crushed up crackers for the breading
* Lemon and Herb chicken
* Greek chicken with feta cheese and black olives
* Chinese chicken (soya sauce and homemade ketchup mixed together to make the sauce)
* Chicken with homemade Alfredo sauce
*Mexican chicken (this is such an easy dish – mix together cooked chicken with black beans, cream cheese, sour cream, jar of salsa, shredded cheese for topping and I put the extra olives in it too) – serve with tortillas and rice

 

{homemade bagels}

 

Later this week, I prepared the ground beef for the beef meals  and assembled them into meals today.

The main beef meals are:

Beef stroganoff with egg noodles
Tray of cabbage rolls
Two lasagnas
Spaghetti sauce with hamburger meat
Beef stew
Two Shepherd’s Pie
Spicy Hamburger meat — to be served with rice

 

 

Now I have cooked up one of our large, home-grown turkeys and have it cooking away in my big roaster. Turkey meals will come next.

Which brings me to the main recipe of this post …

~Turkey A La King~

What a treat to serve up this tasty meal! We all just adore this simple and easy to prepare dish. You can serve with various sides, but our favorite is Yorkshire Pudding. Of course, biscuits hot from the oven will do just fine in a pinch, as well.  I’ll be making up some extra batches for the freezer, but also for another family in our church that is due to have a baby any day.

Turkey A La King

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 cup sliced cooked carrots
  • 1 cup cut fresh green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Warm biscuits or Yorkshire Pudding
  • 1.In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • 2. Stir in the turkey, carrots, green beans, salt and pepper; heat through.
  • 3. Serve immediately with biscuits or cool and freeze in a freezer container for up to 3 months.It is one of the best dishes and absolute perfection served with Yorkshire Puddings and melted butter.

What a blessing these meals will be in the weeks following the baby’s birth. We also have many canned soups still ready from our canning season, which will be eaten mainly as the lunch menu.

 

 
March 5, 2020 - 3:22 pm

Diane Looks so good GiGi! I especially love turkey. We buy extra ones when they are on sale during the Holidays. You are going to love having these meals all ready after the baby comes. Do you need 2 pans to feed your family yet? We had our daughter’s family of 9 over last week and we went through two 9×13 pans of burrito casserole, along with chips and salsa and salad on the side. There were 5 adults and 7 kids 13 and under. Normally we don’t eat that much but everyone was extra hungry.

March 5, 2020 - 8:44 am

Ourhomeofmanyblessings I wondered how RIP was doing!He is a cutie.I have never tried that dish before.I have a bunch of chicken and a few leftover veggies I might use up and make that for our new meal this week!

March 2, 2020 - 8:17 pm

Lynnea “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”
~ Proverbs 31:25 ~

Such a wonderful way to show love and care for your family and the family at church! And for yourself!…it will be so nice to be able to choose a meal from your freezer when you need to rest!
The Turkey A La King looks delicious ~ I want to try it with chicken since we have that on hand now. 🙂

March 2, 2020 - 1:04 pm

Kristal Gillian this is amazing! You will be so glad you did this (which I am sure you know already). 🙂

March 2, 2020 - 12:19 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA Those meals sound delicious! Do you put the Pyrex casserole dishes right into the freezer? I’ve often wondered if you could do that.

Make sure to take some time to put your feet up and rest from time to time. The children can read to you!

February 29, 2020 - 6:30 am

Gigi Thanks, Renee! Hope you are doing well!

February 28, 2020 - 9:16 pm

Teresa @ SF I love this post it is such a inspiration. Love your photos of Sweet little helpers and a cute little dog. How are you feeling? How much longer until your sweet bundle of joy arrived? Hugs!

February 28, 2020 - 10:27 am

Renee Just a wee note to say I’ve been thinking about you! Miss you my dear friend

February 27, 2020 - 10:58 am

Monica Beautiful children, beautiful dog, and beautiful food!! Way to go, momma! No regrets when you are enjoying your babymoon! Lovely. xo